Planning for the Unexpected: How to Protect Your Business from Downtime

“One minute of downtime can cost an organization $8,851, on average.”

Emerson Network Power, 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages


Downtime is (Unfortunately) Common

We’ve all seen the many news reports on organizations that have faced their own challenges with downtime. Last year, both Southwest Airlines and Delta had to cancel more than two thousand flights from two separate network outages. And last September, multiple airlines using a popular customer management system (CMS) for the airline industry, were hit with a worldwide software outage. The system disruption led to many delayed flights and frustrated travelers.

Another major downtime event took place last spring, when a number of websites and applications were “either partially or fully broken” as a result of an Amazon AWS S3 outage.

The Amazon AWS S3 outage affected businesses across various industries, from publishers, retailers, and many others. Among the businesses affected by the AWS outage includes popular Q&A site Quora, Business Insider, and workplace chat staple Slack.

There is no question that downtime is costly. According to Emerson Network Power’s “2016 Cost of Data Center Outages,” downtime can cost:

  • $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for unplanned application downtime
  • $100,000 per hour for infrastructure failure
  • $500,000 to $1 million per hour for critical application failure

Companies are often well prepared for planned downtime events, like scheduled maintenance and migration. However, it’s the unexpected crisis that can be hard to anticipate and therefore, plan for, like Southwest’s router issue or Delta’s fire. Other unexpected downtime events can be caused by:

  • Bugs or component failures
  • Network or vendor outages
  • Human error
  • Severe weather/natural disaster
  • Cyber attack

Expect the Unexpected: Avoiding Downtime with High Availability

Unexpected downtime often means that you can’t access or make use of your data, which can ultimately interfere with your daily business operations.

It’s crucial to prepare for any type of downtime with a business continuity plan, backup processes, and a managed file transfer (MFT) platform with high availability. Unexpected downtime can be the most damaging to the service level agreements (SLAs) you have with your customers, partners or third-party vendors.

Uptime guarantees are commonly included in SLAs, requiring a level of availability commitment. There are the “three nines,” “four nines,” “five nines,” and the “six nines,” which translate to:

  • Three-nines: 99.9% level of availability, allowing 8 hours, 46 minutes of downtime per year
  • Four-nines: 99.99% level of availability, allowing 52 minutes and 36 seconds of downtime per year
  • Five-nines: 99.999% level of availability, allowing 5 minutes and 15 seconds of downtime per year

In each case, the nines refer to reliability and availability. Achieving these nines means finding the most reliable and available systems, such as those a high availability configuration with an MFT platform. 

Meet SLAs to Avoid the Uptime Funk with an MFT Platform

With Globalscape EFT (Enhanced File TransferTM) with High Availability (HA), you can reduce your downtime risks and meet your SLAs, achieving an enhanced throughput. This allows for a collective MFT environment to efficiently use available resources. High Availability helps you protect your critical business processes and ensure that your crucial file transfer systems are “always on.” Your employees, customers and business partners can experience seamless availability of critical applications and information, even during periods of uncertainty or crisis.

How to Achieve High Availability with Globalscape EFT

Globalscape EFT's active-active clustering provides high availability using multiple instances of EFT and a load balancer for non-stop availability of your network. And unlike active-passive failover clusters, all of the nodes in Globalscape EFT’s active-active deployment are put to work in production—with no standby hardware, and no clustering software.

Globalscape EFT with High Availability means that you can achieve the following:

  • Maintain availability through any planned or unplanned outage
  • Increase network stability and flexibility by implementing multiple nodes of Globalscape EFT for load balancing
  • Meet important SLAs with enhanced throughput by deploying multiple nodes of Globalscape EFT to allow the collective environment to efficiently use available resources
  • Improve scalability with the ability to share common configurations across nodes, eliminating the challenge of having multiple servers set up with different configurations

Meet your SLAs with EFT with High Availability today! Download a trial version of Globalscape EFT to get started.