What is the meaning of severity 1?

In an effort to shed some kilos, I always take the scenic route up and down the stairs in the car park. I often pause at the first floor to reflect (not catch my breath!) Now ITIL refers to major incidents as those incidents with a severe negative business consequence. However, many people don't use the term major incidents but the so-called severity 1s.
However, severity 1s are not the same as major incidents. Severity 1s are usually incidents that someone has perceived to be of high priority and not necessarily measured as a metric of business consequence. Most major incidents are severity 1s and most severity 1s are not major incidents!!!



  1. So I agree and disagree. Traditionally Sev 1 should imply serious business impact, for storage platforms, it typically would mean data loss.

    In my previous organizations we actually had Sev. 0. The purpose, customers always wanted to feel important, so letting them classify a problem at Sev. 1 was fine, however, internally we needed to know if this was going to impact "our" business, via lost customers, bad publicity, lost revenue, thus the additional classification.

  2. Thanks for writing, Steve.

    It does sound like the tail wags the dog, :-)

  3. We are a data center. Our 'Priority 1' incidents are business-critical outages in our customers' production environments. We have two major incidents, SEV 0 and Disaster. A SEV 0 is a widespread infrastructure outage (which, of course, affects many customers) but falls short of a disaster declaration.


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