At a Cost of More Than $5,000 Per Minute, Data Center Outages Can Be Painful, Emerson Study Shows

U.S. Report Reveals That Tight IT Budgets Are Major Roadblocks To Getting Data Centers Back Online

COLUMBUS, Ohio--()--Unplanned data center outages can cost companies more than $5,000 a minute in lost revenue and productivity, damaged data and stakeholder trust, and regulatory and legal repercussions, according to a new study from Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™, and the Ponemon Institute.

Further, outages are not rare occurrences, with 95 percent of U.S. businesses experiencing at least one unplanned data center outage in the past two years, according to the study, and most data center professionals cite inadequate practices and investments as hindering the prevention of or response time to outages.

Emerson Network Power and the Ponemon Institute recently conducted a two-part study of data center operations – a survey of more than 450 U.S.-based data center professionals and an in-depth analysis of 41 independent data centers from varying industry segments with a minimum of 2,500 square feet.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the direct, indirect, and opportunity costs of data center outages. For example, a total data center outage, with an average recovery time of 134 minutes, can cost an organization approximately $680,000. And for enterprises with revenue models that depend solely on data centers to deliver IT and networking services – such as telecommunications service providers and e-commerce companies – the highest cost of a single event can top $1 million (more than $11,000 per minute), according to the study.

“With the increase in reliance on IT systems to support business-critical applications, a single downtime event now has the potential to significantly impact the profitability – and in extreme cases, the viability – of an enterprise,” said Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, a research center focused on privacy, data protection and information security policy. “Left unattended, an inadequate data center infrastructure will contribute to recurring downtime events and result in significant financial losses as well as permanent damage to a company’s reputation and customer goodwill.”

The survey of data center professionals revealed that a lack of resources kept them from reducing or responding to outages as they would have liked. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents believe all or most of their unplanned outages could have been prevented, and only 37 percent agree there are ample resources to bring their data center up and running if there is an unplanned outage.

“Downtime can result in a variety of long-term recurring costs, which include direct costs associated with identifying and addressing root causes and indirect costs associated with disrupting business-critical operations,” said Peter Panfil, vice president and general manager, Emerson Network Power’s AC Power business in North America. “While minimizing the risk of outages may necessitate an up-front capital investment, those investments can be offset by lower downtime costs and savings from increased operational efficiencies.”

Full details are available in the 2011 cost of downtime study as well as the 2010 root cause study.

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson, is the global leader in enabling Business-Critical Continuity™ from grid to chip for telecommunication networks, data centers, and health care and industrial facilities. Emerson Network Power provides innovative solutions and expertise in areas including AC and DC power and precision cooling systems, embedded computing and power, integrated racks and enclosures, power switching and controls, infrastructure management, and connectivity. All solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. For more information, visit

About Emerson

Emerson, based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and tools and storage businesses. Sales in fiscal 2010 were $21 billion. For more information, visit


for Emerson
Carolyn Chiang, 314-982-8785


for Emerson
Carolyn Chiang, 314-982-8785