WhatsApp’s Cautionary Tale: A Lesson in Downtime

We’ve entered the age where every company depends on data and operational uptime. From the dental office to mid-size health care services company, increasing downtime costs are forcing the uptime imperative for every company.

Ask any IT director or executive about the downtime effect and they’ll tell you retribution is swift and that the culprit responsible for millions of dollars in damage is often something simple, like hardware failure or human error. But what are the true costs?

A study from the Aberdeen group found that the average cost of downtime per hour is $163,674. But what about brand damage? Or, customer attrition? Quantifying the true cost is complex science, but when all of the ancillary costs are totaled, the sum can have a huge financial impact. To understand the severity and extent of ancillary downtime costs, take a look at WhatsApp.

Two years ago, a bad router caused multiple failures which took down the company’s servers, resulting in four hours of downtime. Like any company in crisis-mode, they presumed an expensive downtime bill. However, they probably weren’t expecting to see four million customers abandon their app for a competitor, Telegram. Ouch. Watching 100 customers abandon your product every second made it clear that in the “Always On” era, the hard and soft costs are always going to be significant.

So, what’s the lesson? Business leaders can no longer afford to run their company without a disaster recovery solution. The risk is too high. The good news is that for the first time new cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions have entered the marketplace, making enterprise-grade failover affordable.

What is DRaaS? What can it do for me?

Disaster Recovery as a Service is the replication and hosting of physical and virtual servers to a second location, either to a second appliance or the cloud, which is usually located in a distant second site. In the event of a man-made or natural disaster, these replicated systems can be booted and accessed.

In short, it brings the compute resources to where your backup data resides (either on the backup appliance or cloud), allowing you to virtualize and spin up applications in minutes. And unlike traditional disaster recovery solutions, you don’t need to build or manage a secondary site or staff it with extra IT resources.

It’s why the costs of these new DRaaS solutions are significantly lower, both in terms of upfront costs and total cost of ownership costs. Using the cloud is how they deliver a pay as your grow model, so you’re buying into a future of cheaper and on-demand storage. So, yes you can have the RTO you want for a little more than the cost of traditional tape backup.

The Uptime Imperative: Eradicate Downtime

The hard truth is that downtime costs are rising and will continue to rise. Recently, Twitter’s downtime outage sent the stock spiraling down nearly 7% from its open price. Bad timing, right?

On the flip side, new DRaaS solutions are removing the traditional barriers to on-demand failover adoption: costs, complexity, and lack of IT resources — making it easier than ever for small and mid-size companies to minimize business risk. No scary six figure price tag. No more RTO tradeoffs.

With Infrascale’s DRaaS solution, a company looking to protect 2 terabytes of data across file servers, could have push-button failover for less than $30,000. For the first time, companies lacking a huge IT budget can eradicate downtime, simply and affordably.