Who's to blame when IT breaks?

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Assessing fault in data center incidents could pit internal IT operations staffers against contractors and vendors

There's always a reason why things break in data centers, and the powers that be can usually find someone to blame -- whether that someone is an IT operations staff member, an OEM, a systems integrator or a third-party service provider.

Often, the offender leaves clear fingerprints, such as a mislabeled component or a process that wasn't updated. Some incidents are clearly due to the oversights of multiple parties.

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Uptime Institute, a professional group whose membership includes data center managers from many industries, has collected and studied incident data for almost 20 years and concludes that the majority of problems are caused by outside parties like contractors or vendors, with a smaller but still sizeable percentage being the fault of internal IT staffers.

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