If you have ever needed to use your Smartphone and not been able to access your carrier’s network you know how incredibly frustrating it is. And if you are lucky enough to have never experienced this, you have likely come to expect your carrier’s network to provide 100% uptime. Network uptime is the ultimate goal of any data center and without network uptime businesses lose money and clients become incredibly frustrated. We live in a world of instant gratification and knowledge constantly at our fingertips. When something stands in our way or slows us down we no longer see it as frustrating but completely unacceptable. And, as research shows, network uptime is not a simple luxury, it is an expectation.
In a study recently conducted by Vasona Networks, proof of an expectation amongst customers of 100% uptime was shown, “Sixty-four percent of consumers responding to the survey cited “good performance all the time” as a reasonable expectation from their mobile data service provider. Just 36 percent of subscribers still think it is reasonable for there to be “hiccups in performance,” “unavailability for extended periods” or “unavailability in certain places.” When asked to identify the principal cause of problems during use of an app, mobile service providers are the most commonly cited party for blame, with 40 percent selecting them. Thirty-nine percent blame the app maker and the remainder of consumers suspect their device or device operating system to be the cause. Data service quality is crucial for subscribers, with 29 percent citing “mobile Internet performance” as most important when choosing a provider… “Mobile Internet performance is becoming increasingly important for consumers and this survey indicates just how high a bar subscribers are setting for their service providers,” says John Reister, vice president of marketing and product management for Vasona Networks. “Our findings indicate that it is no longer sufficient for mobile operators to offer a good experience most of the time across most of their network. Today, if every cell isn’t delivering great performance, subscribers are being let down.” Customers today do not simply expect network availability during business hours, or even waking hours, service must exist 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Not only will network downtime frustrate customers and possibly drive them to another provider but it comes with a significant cost to companies. Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company makes note of the high cost of network downtime, ” This is a follow-up to last week’s post on network downtime as several have asked “What is the cost of network downtime?” Based on industry surveys, the number we typically cite is $5,600 p/minute, which extrapolates to well over $300K p/hour (see Ensure Cost Balances Out With Risk in High-Availability Data Centers by Dave Cappuccio). However, this is just an average and there is a large degree of variance, based on the characteristics of your business and environment (i.e., your vertical, risk tolerance etc).” That is no small price to pay. Every network provider needs to spend more time focusing on network uptime so keep customers satisfied so that customers can be retained and financial loss prevented.