Data Center Outages, Vol. 3: Human Error

Ken Hill

An additional common cause of outages is human error. A number of miscalculations at the hand of employees can lead to an outage, costing many companies far more than they can afford to pay or lose.

What are the most common examples of human error?

  • Incorrect configuration changes—networks, servers, SANs
  • Incorrect backups
  • Load balancing misconfiguration and errors
  • Firewall misconfiguration and errors
  • Network and VLAN misconfiguration and errors

Many customers don’t have the necessary IT staff with a complete depth of knowledge in each technology skillset required to properly mitigate the risk of outages. Due to budget constraint, people are forced to become an IT generalist versus having specialists for separate IT disciplines. Other times, companies are seeing the workload for their IT increasing, which can have an adverse effect on the availability of their systems.

Joe Palian, solutions architect at Expedient Data Centers explains “There’s a lot of potential for misconfigurations or changes that cause outages and issues in unexpected areas because it’s difficult to have all staff members fully trained in all types of technologies. At Expedient, we have technical experts with specific jobs in network maintenance, SANs, backups…trained people just for those pieces, and redundancies in place.”

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