SOURCE: Stratus Technologies

Stratus Technologies

February 12, 2014 09:00 ET

North American Public Safety Agencies Miss Up to 57 Calls per Hour According to New Research by Stratus Technologies

Second Annual Public Safety Survey Reveals Emergency Call Centers Continue to Suffer From Significant System Downtime

MAYNARD, MA--(Marketwired - Feb 12, 2014) -

  • 70% of PSAPs experienced an application/system outage in the last 12 months
    • 28% experienced outages exceeding one hour 
    • 30% experienced outages of between 15 and 60 minutes
  • 20% of PSAPs have no backup location in case of a catastrophic outage
  • 59% of PSAPs are planning to implement Next-Generation 9-1-1 technologies
  • PSAPs with most system downtime have plans to virtualize, but 53% of PSAPs who have virtualized still experienced over 15 minutes of downtime

Stratus Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of availability solutions, today revealed the results of its second annual Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Survey. The survey examined the viewpoints of over 900 public safety professionals across North America on topics such as systems outages, staffing, Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1 migration), use of virtualization technologies and more.

The findings of the survey reveal that system downtime continues to be a significant issue for PSAPs. This could result in anywhere from 2 to 57 dropped 911 calls per hour depending on the size and call volume of the PSAP. The NG9-1-1 initiative to update and improve the country's 9-1-1 infrastructure will bring an increasing amount of complexity to PSAP IT infrastructures, put even more strain on PSAP systems and further increase the need for availability solutions. This added complexity comes at a time when PSAPs are expected to do more with less -- reduced budgets, fewer resources, and less IT expertise. Virtualization is one approach that PSAPs are considering to consolidate and drive efficiencies and 51% of survey respondents said that they have already, or are planning to virtualize their applications. However, the results also indicate that virtualization is not currently solving the availability challenge. 

"PSAPs deal with emergencies 24/7/365 and system downtime should not be one of them," says Dave LeClair Senior Director of Strategy, Stratus Technologies. "If a PSAP application is down, even for a few minutes, it can have alarming consequences. It's not just a question of delays in response times -- it could in many instances result in loss of lives."

LeClair added, "It takes more than just recovering as fast as possible after a failure has occurred. When lives are on the line, you need to detect and prevent failures before they happen. That's exactly what Stratus has been doing successfully for the past 30 years. We have a variety of solutions that will enable PSAPs to ensure their applications are always on now and into the future."


System downtime continues to be an issue for PSAPs 

  • 70% of emergency centers have experienced system downtime in the past 12 months -- 16% of those experienced five or more outages
  • 58% of outages lasted at least 15 minutes; 28% of outages lasted over one hour
  • Agencies receiving 100,000 calls per year could miss up to 12 calls during one hour of downtime

Next-Generation 9-1-1, increases complexity, drives the need for virtualization and makes availability even more of a challenge

  • 59% of survey respondents plan to implement Next-Gen 9-1-1 upgrades in the next year
  • 51% of respondents have plans to virtualize their systems
  • Of the centers planning to virtualize, 70% plan to virtualize their critical applications
  • Of the centers already deploying virtualization technologies, 53% still have downtime events lasting more than 15 minutes

Disaster preparedness and recovery is key but still some PSAPs have no plans in place

  • 19% of respondents do not have a disaster recovery or contingency plan in place in case of a catastrophic outage
  • 20% of respondents do not have a secondary location in case of an outage or natural disaster

Survey Scope & Demographics

  • 919 responses from PSAP professionals, primarily in North America
  • 19 question survey covering topics such as call volume, staffing, next-generation 911 migration, plans to use new technologies and systems outages
  • Respondents identified themselves according to job responsibility, size of population served and geographic entity
  • Survey was conducted from October to December 2013

Additional Resources

  • Download the full report here
  • View an infographic of the stats on Stratus Technologies' website
  • Follow @StratusAlwaysOn and the #911survey hashtag on Twitter for more key findings

About Stratus Technologies
Stratus Technologies is the leading provider of infrastructure based solutions that keep applications running continuously in today's always-on world. Stratus enables rapid deployment of always-on infrastructures, from enterprise servers to clouds, without any changes to applications. Stratus' flexible solutions -- software, platform and services -- prevent downtime before it occurs and ensure uninterrupted performance of essential business operations.