Skip to content
Home / Blog / How to Achieve Data Availability & Reduce Data Disruption

March 12, 2024 | Channing Lovett

How to Achieve Data Availability & Reduce Data Disruption

Data plays a central role in every business but keeping it readily accessible can be a complex challenge. Data availability issues can significantly impact your company, impacting revenue, important business processes, and organizational trust. We’ll talk about what data availability is and what sets it apart from other important data considerations. We’ll also cover how to face common data availability challenges and ensure reliable access to data.

Data Availability vs Data Durability vs Data Resiliency: What’s the Difference?

Data availability, data durability, and data resiliency are closely linked but have distinct meanings.

The accessibility of data is defined by its availability and measured by uptime, which is the percentage the data is available to users. For example, if a data center boasts 99.99% availability, it means that it’s only down for 52.6 minutes per year or less. Higher data availability is more important for sensitive data and critical workloads.

Data durability is all about how much data persists during an interruption or failure. Backup and recovery plans can improve data durability and protect it from software errors, hardware failures, natural disasters, cyberattacks, and human errors.

Availability and durability are contained in data resiliency, but the concept goes one step further and is focused on a system’s ability to handle failures and recover from them. A comprehensive approach prioritizes data accessibility and redundancy, and includes disaster recovery planning and necessary security measures to protect data from potential attacks or unauthorized access.

In short, data availability ensures that you can access your data when needed, durability maintains its existence during a disruption, and resiliency provides safeguards that allow systems to withstand and recover from disasters and other failures.

data availability vs data durability vs. data resiliency

Why is Data Availability So Important?

Data availability is important for every business, but the level of availability needed will be determined by your processes and operations. For example, an online retail business could lose significant revenue if its site goes down during a sale. Financial businesses that may have users visiting at all hours of the day could tarnish their reputation if their services go out for too long. Healthcare organizations that experience an outage may be disconnected from critical patient information they need during a sudden, life-threatening moment.

The Uptime Institute estimates that two-thirds of all data center outages cost businesses more than $100,000. While these occurrences have become less common in recent years, the average cost has gone up.

For these reasons and more, data availability is vital for business continuity, data analysis, compliance, operations, and trust.

Business Continuity

Organizations that have strong business continuity can maintain essential operations during unexpected events. Business continuity is linked with data availability, durability, and resiliency. Any dips in data availability impact business continuity, and with that, productivity, revenue, and trust.

Big Data Analysis

Businesses that rely on real-time datasets may have difficulty making quick decisions if access to their information is disrupted in some way. Some or all of this data may be stored in data lakes or data warehouses and may need different levels of structuring or refining to be useful.

Delaying decision-making and limiting the ability to make informed insights can mean organizations miss out on key patterns and trends, miss opportunities to personalize customer experiences or fail to have the information necessary to optimize product development or marketing campaigns.


Many companies are legally required to keep certain records and have data available for financial audits and other regulatory measures. If datasets are inaccessible during an audit, businesses can face financial or legal penalties and suffer damage to their reputation.

Data Management and Operations

Readily available data can help businesses manage their inventory, keep track of their supply chain, and monitor employee performance. When data is inaccessible, routine operations can stutter or halt. Plus, the lack of visibility on an important area of the business can prevent further operational optimization.

Customer Satisfaction and Trust

When customers can’t access their data, they can get irritated quickly, especially because being unable to access their data may hinder them from accomplishing necessary tasks. If a customer calls and needs information about their account, for example, and the representative on the phone can’t access it for them, it can severely impact customer satisfaction and trust in the company.

Challenges That Can Influence Data Availability

Challenges to data availability can come in from all sides, from technology, humans, and new regulatory requirements.

Challenges that can influence data availability icons


Sometimes, technology doesn’t work the way we expect. Issues with data quality, storage failures, network crashes, and host server failures can all impact data availability, for brief moments or long periods. Redundant components can reduce the impact of most technology-related failures. Stringent cybersecurity measures can likewise improve data availability in the face of security and data breaches, such as ransomware attacks.


Even highly skilled and well-trained workers can make mistakes, and the variables can get even broader when users have a greater impact on data availability. Human error and failures in management processes are behind a “growing proportion of outages.”

Without backups, users may accidentally delete or modify data that can’t be recovered. Some data availability problems may come from skill gaps, while others may be a total fluke.

Regulatory and Compliance-Related

Even if data availability meets a business’ internal standards, certain regulations may be even more stringent. For example, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) measures can place restrictions on data storage and access that require more careful management to ensure compliance.

Certain industries, such as healthcare, face unique compliance standards like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which requires specific controls around data security and access.

How to Ensure Good Data Availability?

Data availability is intertwined with redundancy, security, data architecture, and cloud computing. Leveraging the right tools, skills, and infrastructure can help businesses improve data availability.

Focus on Data Redundancy

Data center tiers come with certain levels of uptime and data availability, and much of that is determined by the types of redundancies that are implemented. For example, Tier 2 data centers tend to have some redundant and backup components and have expected uptimes of 99.741% (or about 22 hours of downtime, maximum, per year). Tier 4 data centers will have redundancies for every component and will only experience about 26.3 minutes of downtime max per year (99.995%).

By focusing on data center redundancy, your business can work on implementing backup and replication strategies that result in multiple copies of data in geographically strategic locations. You can also add redundant hardware components, such as storage devices and servers, to ensure functionality even if one part fails.

Implement Robust Security, Backup, and Recovery Solutions

As previously mentioned, backups also greatly improve data availability and uptime. By regularly backing up data, either on-premises or in the cloud, businesses can safeguard against unauthorized infiltrations, such as ransomware attacks.

Firewalls, access controls, and encryption can all slow down or stop bad actors. Businesses can also protect their data by implementing disaster recovery plans and procedures to outline key actions to take after a disruption.

When redundancies are implemented, automatic failover mechanisms can seamlessly switch over to backup systems during outages. It’s also important to create backups that don’t result in fragmented data, which can cause other data availability problems.

Utilize High-Availability Architectures

High-availability architectures are designed to minimize downtime and maintain data accessibility. Some elements of high-availability architecture include implementing load-balancing strategies or clustering servers to increase access to resources.

Embrace Hybrid Cloud Strategies

Cloud computing offers scalability, disaster recovery, and redundancy measures that all enhance data availability. Businesses that aren’t ready to take the full leap to the cloud can employ a hybrid cloud infrastructure – a combination of on-premises and cloud frameworks.

Leverage Tools

Tools can also help maximize data availability. Automated monitoring and alerts can help inform your business of dips in availability. Data synchronization and replication tools can help you protect your workloads. Cloud storage solutions, powered by Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), offer robust scalability and data availability features as well.

Partner with a Reliable Data Center Provider

Managing your data center infrastructure can impose a huge burden on your team’s time. By partnering with a reliable data center provider, businesses can gain access to redundant components, a secure facility, and expertise in data maintenance.

Maintain Data Availability and Reduce Data Disruption with TierPoint

Data is essential to the operations of any organization, and maximizing availability is paramount. Whether you’re looking to maintain business continuity, leverage big data analysis, comply with financial and legal requirements, manage your day-to-day operations, or secure customer satisfaction and trust, you can’t afford to be caught off-guard by data accessibility roadblocks.

Are you ready to safeguard your data against technology failures, human errors, and compliance issues? Do you want to implement best practices that ensure data redundancy, robust security, and high availability?

Learn more about TierPoint’s cutting-edge disaster recovery and backup solutions for your cloud environment that offer high availability and data redundancy. Our experts can help you minimize downtime, maximize trust, and keep your business running smoothly, no matter what challenges you may encounter. In the meantime, check out our infographic to discover 13 elements that should be included in every resilient DR plan.

Subscribe to the TierPoint blog

We’ll send you a link to new blog posts whenever we publish, usually once a week.