Unplanned downtime is a nightmare scenario for every digital company today. Even a few minutes of downtime can frustrate end users and drive away potential customers. The longer these stretches of inactivity go on for, the more damaging they are to a company's brand image and reputation.
Companies can avoid such costly events by implementing database load balancing software and ensuring their business-critical systems stay online and performing at optimal levels at all times.
The High Cost of Database Downtime
Network, application and platform downtime happens to even the most sophisticated organizations out there. Just last year, Facebook's WhatsApp software went offline for approximately one hour, during which time, millions of users across the globe were unable to access the mobile app.
In the grand scheme of application downtime, the WhatsApp outage was relatively minor in scale. The problem was identified and corrected quickly, and many users probably didn't even notice there was a problem with the app at all.
However, multiple media outlets picked up the story, broadcasting the news across cyberspace and giving Facebook all the wrong kinds of attention and exposure. The incident was also WhatsApp's second downtime incident in 2017, compounding the bad press.
A company like Facebook can weather these kinds of storms, and WhatsApp was able to bounce back no worse for wear. But other businesses won't be as lucky, and their customers and end users may not be as forgiving. A single prolonged instance of downtime may be enough to push potential customers into the arms of competitors. Furthermore, rebuilding trust after such an incident could take years to accomplish.
Depending on who you ask, the cost of downtime can vary significantly:
- A 2016 Information Technology Intelligence Consulting survey found that one hour of downtime costs 98 percent of businesses at least $100,000.
- A Ponemon Institute study from the same year concluded that unplanned downtime cost companies, on average, $8,850 per minute.
- According to a 2015 IDC study, a single downtime incident can cost a small or medium-sized business as much as $256,000.
The dollar figures may vary slightly, but each study came to the same conclusion: Downtime is expensive.
Plan for Unplanned Downtime with Database Load Balancing Software
The trouble with downtime is it often comes out of nowhere. Whether it's a network outage, data center problem, system crash, software error or surge in traffic, unexpected downtime can throw a big wrench into business operations.
How do you plan for an event that can happen at any time, without warning? Database load balancing software solutions like ScaleArc use automated failover tools to migrate workloads from one system to another without a single hiccup. Failover automation ensures that critical systems stay online and recover as quickly possible in the event of a catastrophic failure.
Furthermore, ScaleArc's geo-aware load balancing capabilities enable it to analyze traffic spikes as they develop and allocate resources accordingly to minimize their effect on customer experience while reducing the risk of any potential failure.
Of course, not all downtime is unplanned. Some organizations are forced to take down servers and other critical IT infrastructure for routine maintenance, sacrificing platform availability in the short term to improve system stability and performance over the long haul. There are still others that forgo much-needed system updates and repairs because the required downtime would be too much to bear.
ScaleArc helps companies manage their IT system maintenance requirements with dynamic load balancing and failover features that spread workloads across multiple data centers without affecting user experience or database availability.
Companies that can't afford a single minute of downtime or performance drops in their mission-critical systems should incorporate database load balancing software to assuage their fears and ensure their most important systems are always online and always available.