It is not a good idea to imagine a disaster which could destroy or cripple the data centers of their organization. Even though the season for hurricanes has come to an end in Atlantic as well as Gulf Coast states, wildfires are still raging throughout Southern California. Earthquakes are a constant risk. Disaster planning is rising up the priority list for many managers of data centers.
Disaster recovery (DR) planning usually focuses on protecting data and availability of applications. Many organizations view the data stored on servers and storage devices to be more valuable as the equipment itself. Yet, DR plans should also include safeguards to protect the equipment from physical destruction.
Location Ideally, the data center should be located in an region that isn’t susceptible to natural catastrophes. This isn’t always possible therefore, organizations should make every effort to protect them from any catastrophe that may occur. It’s best to place the area in an interior room , or at a minimum distant from windows as they can be. In zones where tornadoes and hurricanes pose the biggest threat an underground space could be the most suitable option (unless flooding is an issue). In the event of an earthquake it’s crucial to select an appropriately constructed building that is in compliance with the most current codes.
Backup Power Power outages are the most common reason for downtime in equipment and UPS failures are the most common. top reason for unexpected equipment failures. UPS must be selected with care installed, maintained and monitored to ensure a continuous supply of power conditioned with the proper voltage levels.
The Fire Suppression Data centers use conventional sprinkler systems. However, water can damage equipment and cause problems also. The best option is to utilize dry “pre-action” system that can end most fires before it is time to activate the sprinkler system. Modern fire suppression systems employ halo-carbons which eliminate the heat from fires, or inert gasses, which eliminate oxygen. Both are excellent for protection from fires when the system is correctly developed, installed, and checked. The fire alarm must also be checked – if it’s not working or malfunctioning, the fire-suppression system may not be active.
Flood Control In the event that your data space is in an area susceptible to flooding the pumping system must be in place. The system must be activated automatically in conjunction with the generator so that it can continue to operate even if the power grid is down.
Earthquake Safety In areas that are prone to earthquakes it is essential to choose cabinets and racks that have been designed to withstand the seismic force. These cabinets typically have mount brackets to secure their floors securely.
Flexible Processes Data center staff must be aware of their responsibilities and have a thorough understanding of DR procedures. Equipment must be checked by at minimum one person throughout the day. The run-books must be updated to ensure that equipment is immediately repaired or reconfigured in the event of an emergency. DR processes must be well documented but flexibility is crucial. The employees should feel empowered to make their own decisions and adapt according to the circumstance that is at the moment.
Test In the majority of businesses it is the case that the DR plan is rarely tested, if ever. It should be tested at least once every year, and then updated when the business environment and the priorities shift.
These seven steps can assist you to create flexible and robust data center infrastructure. You can also choose solutions that safeguard your equipment.
Mr. Paul Weber,
Paul Weber spent 20 years working in the ever-changing world of data centers. He is enthusiastic about developing customer-focused IT solutions that appeal to the customers. He is the VP of Engineering at Rahi Systems, an enterprise that provides data center solutions located in Silicon Valley and involved in the design, development review, and support for Rahi Systems IT products.