Disaster Recovery Planning
What Data Center Companies Should Consider When Planning for a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters are inevitable and cannot be prevented, but data center providers can prepare for them. When looking for the right wholesale data center for your mission- or business-critical operations, one vital element to consider is a data center preparedness plan. Data center providers should have a plan in place for enduring events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards, tornados and floods.
It’s important that your infrastructure remains online through severe weather; here are a few things to consider when searching for the best data center colocation natural disaster preparedness plans:
Preparation Check List
All data centers should be able to provide a good disaster preparation list that includes things such as testing back-up generators, topping off generator tanks, preparing extra fuel reserves, and inspecting roofs for potential snow, ice and water damage. If scheduled maintenance is due soon, the data center provider should act ahead of schedule to preempt a disaster and ensure ultimate safety and operation. Personnel who stay behind to take care of the data center need to have emergency supplies to weather a storm (food, water, cots, first-aid kits, etc.).
Emergency Action and Contingency Plan
Knowing what the data center’s emergency action and contingency plans are can be just as critical as knowing the preparation plan. Having communication on how personnel will react during an emergency and what the backup plan is for when things go wrong give data center customers peace of mind that their IT and server equipment will perform as expected.
Personnel on Site
It’s imperative for a data center to have expert and knowledgeable staff on hand to manually monitor the building for safety and ensure all fuel reserves and emergency supplies are available. The essential personnel should constantly check rooms and systems to confirm operations are running smoothly, and also ensure no damage was caused after a storm has passed. Personnel should be educated to properly mitigate any damage or risks caused by a natural disaster.
Communication with Customers
The best data center providers will communicate with customers before a storm gets underway by informing them of action plans and how the data center will be monitored and maintained during the emergency. It’s equally important to maintain constant communication with customers throughout the severe weather event with updates on the health of the equipment and the facility, as well as ongoing updates regarding any anticipated service interruptions or repairs. Customers should also have access to emergency personnel contact information should they need to reach them.
Data Center Tiers
Data center tiers detail uptime, performance measurement and security. A Tier 4 data center is considered the most robust and least prone to failures, and is designed to host mission-critical servers and computer systems. A Tier 1 data center is generally used by small businesses for non-critical applications/systems. The data center tier description will impact the level of natural disaster preparedness plan a data center has in place, and the level of service and reliability you should expect when disaster strikes.