IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news


Uptime Institute launches Outage Severity Rating system

The Uptime Institute has announced the launch of its new Outage Severity Rating (OSR), which aims to help organizations better understand and articulate service outages in the context of how each incident affects the business. With OSR, organizations can view their own outages in terms of business impacts, rather than referencing outages based upon the number of physical infrastructure components that were involved.

For the past three years, Uptime Institute's Intelligence group has been studying publicly reported outages to understand the causes and impacts of unplanned downtime. During the three-year time period, the number of public outages has steadily climbed, with 27 outages in 2016; 57 outages in 2017, and 78 outages in 2018. This rise in outages is proportional to the complexity of typical infrastructures, where computing capacity and its associated data is delivered by a combination of in-house data center / centre sites, co-location facilities and the cloud all connected by high capacity networks. Consequently, IT system and network problems have now surpassed mission critical and facilities issues as the leading causes of publicly recorded outages, compared to power which was the biggest cause in previous years.

"Public awareness of outages is becoming more pronounced as the number and impact of outages increases. In most cases, we find it difficult to understand the true nature and magnitude of the outage since most practitioners still characterize the severity of an outage based on the amount of affected physical infrastructure equipment." said Andy Lawrence, executive director of research, Uptime Institute. "The OSR was developed to allow the data center industry's infrastructure practitioners to view outages from the top down, at the IT service delivery level, and then communicate with one another in an informed and normalized business impact fashion. The OSR eliminates the equipment-centric view of outages, and instead focuses on the ability for the hybrid digital infrastructure to support the required IT business services being delivered by the infrastructure."

The Outages Severity Rating (OSR) is structured as follows:

Negligible – this is a negligible outage, recorded and reported but with little or no obvious impact on business services, and no service disruptions.

Minimal – this is a minimal outage where some number of IT business services are disrupted or degraded but with minimal effect on users/customers/reputation.

Significant – this is a significant outage, with observable customer/user services disruptions, mainly of limited scope, duration or effect. Minimal or no financial effect. Some reputational or compliance impact(s) possible.

Serious – this is a serious outage, with disruption of service and/or operations. Ramifications include some financial losses, compliance breaches, damage to reputation, and possible safety concerns. 

Severe – this is a mission critical outage, with major, damaging disruption of services and/or operations with ramifications including large financial losses, possible safety issues, compliance breaches, customer losses and reputational damage.

Want news and features emailed to you?

Signup to our free newsletters and never miss a story.

A website you can trust

The entire Continuity Central website is scanned daily by Sucuri to ensure that no malware exists within the site. This means that you can browse with complete confidence.

Business continuity?

Business continuity can be defined as 'the processes, procedures, decisions and activities to ensure that an organization can continue to function through an operational interruption'. Read more about the basics of business continuity here.

Get the latest news and information sent to you by email

Continuity Central provides a number of free newsletters which are distributed by email. To subscribe click here.