The moment that bank customers are denied access to their money - whether at an ATM, through telephone banking or online - alarm bells ring. All too often the issue can be attributed to a software problem or faulty servers in the data center.

Last month ING Bank was forced to apologise when a planned test of the fire suppression system in its data center took out servers and storage. The hardware failed because the noise levels generated by the test system caused it to vibrate and malfunction. This occurred in ING’s Bucharest data center leaving Romanian customers unable to access online banking or use their cards for hours.

atm-out-of-order.jpgIn Australia, storms were blamed for problems faced in June by not one but several different banks over the course of a month. According to reports, all the banks, including Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and Commonwealth Bank, relied on cloud-hosted platforms and data centers that experienced outages during the severe weather conditions. Increasingly annoyed customers were unable to use the ATM and Eftpos services.

And in the UK, HSBC, not for the first time, cited ‘internal technical issues’ when online banking services went down for several days earlier this year.

For customers these situations are often more of an inconvenience than a disaster, though the risk of a mortgage payment being missed has major implications. On the other side, outages are always damaging for banks in terms of reputation and financial cost.  

Banks have learnt a lot from the disaster of RBS’s outage in 2012 when customers were unable to make payments for up to three weeks. RBS was fined £56 million, paid out millions more in compensation to customers, but most importantly spent £500 million on its technical infrastructure to bolster defences against future outages.

Data center managers must monitor and manage their facilities and assets to ensure service availability and to prevent costly downtime.

Sophisticated solutions provide real-time insight, control and predictability to solve environmental and operational challenges. Cooling and heating must be monitored constantly, and assets tracked and managed to maintain their performance, guard against technical breakdown and protect sensitive data.

Detecting a leak or overheating servers can be the difference between an uninterrupted service or costly, damaging downtime and unhappy customers.

No bank wants the next outage to be theirs. The best way to avoid this is by safeguarding the resilience of their data center and distributed IT with solutions up to the task. Find out more about RF Code’s environmental monitoring and asset management solutions here.

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