Data Center Natural Disaster Preparedness: Part I

In the wake of the recent natural disasters that devastated the Gulf region and the Southwest United States, T5 has written a four-part blog series sharing our perspective on what natural disasters and disaster recovery looks like for data centers. Data centers should be built to withstand such disasters, but it is impossible to know the strength and force until the weather systems are upon us. Proper disaster evaluation is essential to lessen the impact of future disasters. In this series, learn how T5 approaches natural disaster preparedness.

As the people of Houston work to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, our thoughts and prayers are with them. T5 has joined many others in efforts to bring supplies and support to the people of this great city as they rebuild.

The hurricane’s devastation sheds a light on the important reality for companies to have both a solid disaster recovery plan and a resilient data center. Those who had made decisions to carefully select data centers which had been built well outside of floodplains, in disparate locations, and built to the high standards required of such storms and other natural disasters found themselves relatively unscathed. Others, who had not, are learning first-hand the cost of unplanned data center outages (up to $7,900 per minute).

One scenario arose in Houston that some might find less obvious and that was the impact of employees. Some companies found that as they moved to their disaster recovery site there were no employees there to manage the center. In other instances, employees found themselves living in the data center for days as access to the facility was restored. Preparation for these types of events is yet another important aspect to consider. This concern can be mitigated through facilities management contracts with the data center provider. T5 was able to use size and scale to both take care of employees trapped on site as well as provide a shift of employee resources from other locations to ensure continuity.

So, what should you be looking for in a disaster recovery site? As mentioned above,

  • Does your data center provider offer facilities management options and have the size and scale to support you during a natural disaster?
  • Good connectivity is important both to serve the business, and to support remote workers. Facilities infrastructure is paramount – is it robust enough to withstand this type of event?
  • Most importantly has your data center provider developed a plan that has provided them a demonstrable track record of success in maintaining the site.

T5 Data Centers is here to help you address some of these challenges. Our consultative team of professionals is ready to sit down with you at your earliest convenience. Take a proactive, deep dive into your disaster recovery questions and needs today and give us a call. We are here to be your business partner.

Part 2 of our disaster recovery series can be found here.

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