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Some businesses will go their entire life span without contracting a single malware infection. Few are so lucky when it comes to failed hardware. In surveying nearly400 of its IT partners, StorageCraft learned that 99 percent of 387 respondents had suffered from hardware failure in the past. While it only offers a small sample size, this data furthers the perceived notion that failed equipment is the biggest threat to business continuity.
Common Causes of Hardware Failure
There are a number of reasons why a piece of IT equipment may go clunk in the night. Here’s a look at the most common causes of hardware failure:
Overheating: An insufficiently cooled, improperly ventilated server room is a breeding ground for the type of extreme heat that threatens to put IT operations out of commission. Recognizing that overheating is the leading cause of hardware failure, data center operators pour countless resources into cooling the IT environment. A report by Markets and Markets projects that the data center cooling industry will be valued at $11.5 billion by 2018.
Power surges: A power surge doesn’t guarantee failure, but the results can be devastating just the same. Power surges are commonly caused by lightning, faulty electrical wiring, and other instances that cause energy flow to abruptly stop and restart. I don’t know if you wanna call it a best case scenario, but losing all unsaved data in a system crash probably seems like the lesser or two evils when compared to complete failure of the hardware, though either may be sparked from a surge.
Physical damage: Machines that house several tiny moving parts have a certain level of sensitivity to begin with. A computer has fewer moving parts than most other machinery, but those components are equally sensitive. Any IT equipment exposed to bumps, drops, and other forms of physical force is prone to immediate, or gradual failure over time. Whether it’s powered on or off, physical harm may spell the end of your hardware.
Water damage: Water is a hardware killer that threatens IT equipment in more ways than one. Having a desktop washed out in a flood or spilling a cup of coffee directly on a laptop is as close to certain doom as you can get. However, moisture caused by extreme humidity can also build up inside the equipment and cause critical parts to fail. Hardware design has come a long way, but water-resistant housing is something manufacturers still appear to be far from perfecting.
Malware infection: While malware is known to wreak havoc on software systems, rarely does it ever cause significant damage to the underlying hardware. But it’s possible. By providing backdoor access, a Trojan horse can give an intruder complete control of the target machine. This means they can put a strain on hardware resources such as BIOS and memory, and even open and close the door of the DVD drive at will. These annoyances contribute to failed hardware over time.
According to StorageCraft’s survey on hardware failure, 52.7 of respondents said that getting clients to recognize the value of BDR was the most challenging aspect of offering a disaster recovery solution. Here we’ve laid out why hardware is an ideal place to start. If organizations realize that their hard drives can be destroyed in the blink of an eye, they’re more likely to grasp why backup and disaster recovery is the only way to roll in today’s IT environment.
Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr