One way in which a data center outage happens lies in the limited capacity of the technology itself. Generally speaking, servers and routers are designed to handle a certain capacity of traffic and information. When a huge event happens, like the death of a world-famous music star, or terrorist event, or a world-renown sports event, the capacity of servers and routers can become stretched beyond their capacity, leading to system failure, crashes, and ultimately data center outages. Figuring out a way to take technology designed for one capacity and making it impervious to a higher flow of traffic is one of the ongoing struggles for the industry and remains one of the leading causes for data center outages.
Sometime one of the key components in a data center outage rests with a third party. While Web sites do have some control over how fast the elements of their sites load, they are limited in the speed for their-party content like widgets and ad networks. If a huge event happens and people rush to the news or their social media sites, these elements can slow things down the point of causing a data center outage. Electronic attacks from hackers present yet another distinct challenge to the healthy functioning of data centers. In past year, electronic attacks have held captive many Web sites until the defenses of the site could break through, causing an outage of usage for consumers. This kind of attack has been especially prevalent among social media sites in recent years, which are known for having less security than many other types of sites out there.
As advanced as modern technology gets, it still relies on the mechanics of its physical parts to operate well. A third important cause of data center outages comes with issues related to the physical components of the technology involved. A fire in an electric room in Europe could interrupt your email for a day. Faulty insulation for an electric duct could lead to systems overheating and shutting down. If the generator for the server for your favorite social media sites stops working, the resulting loss in power could make you wait for hours to post your new favorite vacation pictures or update your status. Even inclement weather, from lightning storms and floods, to hurricanes and earthquakes, has the power to interrupt your favorite show on the net. Often it is not the carelessness of people, but rather the harshness of physical realities that lead to data center outages.
Outages will occur as long as these elements continue to exist. The most we can do in the meantime is use sound backup principles and hope that these outages don’t occur during the game-deciding goal of our favorite sports team.