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Opengear participated in the ITExpo conference in Miami, Florida at the end of January. This was the first large event of the year showcasing our Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ (F2C) solutions. Together, Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ provide our customers with a high level of IT resilience — the ability to not only recover efficiently from faults, but also prevent these disruptions in the first place. We received an enthusiastic response to our solution.

To better understand what these customers saw and liked, here’s some simple math.

IT “Availability” is frequently measured in terms of “9s.” People often talk of “Five 9s availability levels” which means 99.999% availability. The following table summarizes the downtime for a few of these availability levels:

Availability Level (%) Downtime per week Downtime per month Downtime per year
90% (One 9) 16.8 hours 72 hours 36.5 days
99% (Two 9s) 1.68 hours 7.2 hours 3.65 days
99.9% (Three 9s) 10.1 minutes 43.8 minutes 8.76 hours
99.99% (Four 9s) 1.01 minutes 4.32 minutes 52.56 minutes
99.999% (Five 9s) 6.05 seconds 25.9 seconds 5.26 minutes

Put differently, 1% downtime (99% uptime) means that your network or IT infrastructure is not available for almost 8 hours every month on average. This is a very realistic number and could easily be the availability level of any retail outlet store, a remote branch office, or a campus building down your street. Our Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ capabilities provide a real solution for customers to address these issues.

CIOs, CTOs, and administrators know that downtime costs a lot of money — anywhere from $100k to $500k per hour, depending on the business you are in. At the show, one of our customers that handles network traffic for a call center mentioned that they regularly field millions of calls every month and even an hour of downtime could mean no sales, no inventory management, no communication back to the head office and more. Many of our customers tell us that the true impact of even a few hours of downtime can often be noticed for several weeks after all systems are back up and running: it could be backup jobs which did not run on time, an important email which sat in a users outbox and was not noticed for a couple days delaying a whole chain of subsequent actions. Or it could be that someone did some “smart” work-around during the few hours of downtime, did not remember to remove the work-around later causing more trouble. And if your organization relies heavily on IT to service customers, the damage to your reputation with every passing minute of downtime can be detrimental to future business for a long time. There is definitely a multiplicative factor here in that even slight increases in downtime per incident can result in an exponential increase in the longevity of the business relate “after effects” of that incident.

EWC recently did a survey and came up with an insightful chart showing the causes of downtime.

Causes of Data Loss and/or Systems Network Downtime

This chart makes the combined benefit of Smart OOB™ + F2C really shine through. While a simple “failover” solution can help keep a business running during connectivity failures (12% of disruptions), the combined solutions of Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ can help you detect and prevent a lot more failures that cause IT downtime: power failures, router misconfiguration, kernel panic, low cellular signal strength, environmental hazards like fire, overheating, and many more hazards leading to downtime. At Opengear we believe that customers need to consider a complete solution when addressing these critical issues. Our solutions can restore a router, trouble-shoot a switch, be alerted to a power failure and initiate a safe shutdown on a UPS, be alerted that temperature in a closet is high, be alerted there is a water leak (monitor-alert-remediate), reboot a DRAC, and can provide a failover to cellular solution via IP Passthrough to keep the retail store up and running. Other vendors in this space ignore network configuration issues, image corruption, security breaches, power outages, power surges, over temperature, preventative maintenance and natural disasters which are far more likely and can be resolved with Smart OOB™. With this combination of Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ our customers realize they have a complete solution for improving their IT Infrastructure availability.

Opengear products can help you cut down your downtime by as much as 60%! Now let’s turn that into dollars:

Availability Level (%) Downtime per week 40% of downtime $ Savings/month with Smart OOB™ + F2C [$1k loss/hr.] $ Savings/month with Smart OOB™ + F2C [$25k loss/hr.]
(One 9)
72 hours 28.8 hours $43,200 $1.08MM
(Two 9s)
7.2 hours 2.9 hours $4,320 $108K
99.9% (Three 9s) 43.8 minutes 17.5 minutes $432 $10,950
99.99% (Four 9s) 4.32 minutes 1.73 minutes $43.20 $1,080
99.999% (Five 9s) 25.9 seconds 10.36 seconds $4.32 $107.92

Reading through these downtime numbers and dollar amounts is often an “AHA!!” moment for many — as it was with the people we talked to at IT Expo in Miami. It is these reactions and approvals from customers that makes going to these shows so worthwhile.

As mentioned in my previous posts, we listen closely to our customers and welcome your feedback. If you’d like to share your comments or provide ideas to improve our products, feel free to reach out to us on our website, via email, Twitter (@Opengear), or LinkedIn.