3 Essential characteristics of managing planned downtime

Rick Vanover, Director of Product Strategy

@RickVanover

Published date: October 10, 2017

Downtime can be an unpopular topic in regards to keeping IT services available today. But downtime does need to happen, whether it is to avoid an outage pre-emptively (such as an upcoming weather disaster) or to do much-needed maintenance and modernizations of critical systems. Whatever the reason, planned downtime does need to happen.

Everyone knows that unplanned downtime is not a popular topic, and the 2017 Veeam Availability report proves it! Modern enterprises can schedule downtime, and it can be an investment to perform necessary changes. In this blog, here are 3 essential characteristics of planned downtime for the IT decision maker:

  1. Planned downtime can be an investment to avoid unplanned downtime. We never want to be in a situation where a failure causes downtime; this puts Availability at risk and can introduce data loss. Organizations who prepare business for downtime or scheduled maintenance can avoid demanding a window of time at the worst possible time.
  2. Planned downtime shouldn’t introduce any surprises. The above point is something that IT has dealt with forever; but until now there has been the chance that surprises or unforeseen factors have come up.

  3. One of the most frustrating things is going through the work to arrange a planned downtime window and have something come up that was unforeseen. This can make the planned change have to be “backed out” or otherwise cancelled. This can postpone larger business initiatives and also put systems and data at risk. This has all changed since Veeam innovated our market.

    Since 2010, Veeam has continually innovated this area with leveraged data capability. What excites me the most when I speak to customers and partners, is when they find a way to use the virtual lab technology to solve real business challenges and reduce downtime. That’s the whole point of this technology and it has many capabilities to ensure that when an organization goes into a change, there are no surprises. The change can be completely simulated from live data as of just moments ago. This way, when planned downtime is scheduled, the IT organization can present to the business a complete plan of what to expect (how long in particular) and assurance that the changes will go as planned.

  4. Reducing planned downtime keeps stakeholder confidence high. When an organization takes my second point seriously, things change in a good way. Imagine if a planned downtime incident was cancelled for “unforeseen circumstances” and the IT organization has to ask the business for downtime again? The natural question is, “What is different so it will be successful this time?” Having to frequently cancel and back-out changes in planned downtime will degrade the organization’s confidence in the IT services and potentially also the ability to achieve planned downtime.

Taking the leveraged data approach to critical applications can pave the way to a much better Availability experience, and Veeam has pioneered this market. Did you know Veeam can do this? Read more on the leveraged data capability in Veeam Availability Suite.

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