How to Reduce the Risk of Network Downtime

Most of us probably couldn’t imagine how we’d complete our daily workflow without access to a computer. Computers are a ubiquitous part of our working lives now, but, because people know simply how to use them and not how they work, I.T. problems such as network downtime or hard drive failures have become commonly accepted. The truth is there are some simple procedures anyone can do that can significantly reduce the risks of critical disaster.

Dilbert on network downtime

Why Is It Important

Downtime at work not only causes disruptions to both your employee and your customers, it also costs the company money. In 2011, a CA Technologies survey on two-hundred companies found that there was a combined $26.5bn loss in revenue as a result of I.T. downtime.

On average, businesses stated that they suffered from an average fourteen hours of downtime each year. Yet, despite of this, 56% of companies in North America and 30% in Europe admitted they don’t have an appropriate recovery plan when the situation occurs. Not only does this result in a loss of earnings, 18% of companies said it resulted in a damage to their reputation while 14% went as far to say the event was “very damaging.”

Repairing a network server
photo credit: Q Family

What Can You Do to Prevent It

1. Use a monitoring service

For a low monthly rate, a monitoring service will test your servers every few minutes and send you a text message if there’s any problems. This is especially important for times when you aren’t at the office. There’s nothing worse than coming into work in the morning and finding out your servers have been down all night. You could also extend this service to handle any updates to your system. This can be done at non-peak hours so you don’t overload the servers and it doesn’t disrupt your work day.

2. Replace drives regularly

When do most people change components? When they fail, of course. Using something until it breaks might make sense in some circumstances, but not when it comes down to protecting your company’s data. You don’t need to keep buying new drives every few months, but statistics show that a drive that’s two-to-three years old is significantly more likely to fail than a comparative component that’s only one year old. Always remember to make a backup of your data before you make any updates or changes.

3. Use reliable equipment

Last, but certainly not least, is to use equipment from reliable manufacturers such as Pinnacle Data. Getting your business up and running is both an expensive and stressful process, but don’t take the easy option of buying cheap equipment to save money in the short-run. Not only is this likely to cost you more money in the long-haul when you have to replace the equipment, but potentially losing important data will result in a more stressful time than you could have imagined.


Unfortunately, you can never prevent 100% of problems. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get as close to the mark as possible though. Remember these tips and reduce the chance of network downtime harming your business.