Data Center for a Natural Disaster

No one wants to contemplate a disaster crippling or maybe destroying their data center. But while hurricane season has expired for Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, wildfires are raging in Southern California. Earthquakes are an ever-present danger. Disaster planning is moving higher up from the priority list for a lot of data center managers.

Disaster recovery (DR) planning typically is targeted on data protection and application availability. Most organizations look at the information maintained on servers and storage devices for being infinitely more useful than the technology itself. However, DR plans also needs to include provisions to protect equipment from physical damage.

Location: Ideally, data centers will be located in a geographic area it’s not prone to natural disaster. That’s seldom possible, so organizations need to do the best they will to isolate it from any disaster that does occur. That means seeking the room in a interior room or at best as far from windows as you can. In locations hurricanes and tornadoes are definitely the greatest threat, an underground location may be the top option (unless flooding is a concern). In earthquake zones, it’s important to select a well-constructed building that’s compliant together with the latest codes.

Backup Power: Power outages really are a leading reason behind equipment downtime, and UPS failure may be the No. 1 reason behind unplanned equipment outages. UPS really should be carefully selected, implemented and maintained to make sure a steady method to obtain conditioned power using a regulated voltage level.

Fire Suppression: Many data centers depend upon conventional sprinkler systems, but water can destroy equipment and cause other difficulties as well. A better approach should be to employ a dry “pre-action” system that can extinguish most fires prior to a sprinkler method is activated. Modern fire-suppression systems use halo-carbons, which remove heat from fires, or inert gases, which deprive them of oxygen. Both offers excellent fire suppression if the method is properly designed, installed and tested. The fire alarm should likewise be tested – whether it is faulty, the fire-suppression system may not be activated.

Flood Control: If the data room is situated in a flood-prone area, a pumping system ought to be installed. The system should activate automatically and stay connected to generator power so it continues operation in the event the electric grid decreases.

Earthquake Protection: In earthquake-prone areas, it’s important to pick racks and cabinets that happen to be rated to resist seismic activity. These units routinely have special supports to attach them securely towards the floor.

Flexible Processes: Data center personnel should understand their responsibilities and turn into thoroughly been trained in DR procedures. Equipment needs to be monitored by no less than one person continually. Run-books must be kept up-to-date to ensure equipment could be recovered or reconfigured quickly inside an emergency. DR processes must also be well-documented but flexibility is very important. Personnel should feel empowered for making decisions and improvise based on the situation accessible.

Test: In most organizations, the DR plan is seldom, at any time tested. The plan needs to be tested at least two times a year and updated because environment and business priorities change.

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