Strategic Data Center Partnerships Play an Important Role in Mitigating Disaster 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2023 is already breaking records in terms of extreme weather events, exceeding the previous record of 17 disasters previously held by 2017 and 2020. As of October 10, there have been 24 confirmed weather and climate-related disaster events exceeding $1 billion each to affect the United States, resulting in 373 deaths and significant economic impacts on the areas affected. Among these events, the U.S. has experienced one drought event, two flooding events, 18 severe storm events, one tropical cyclone event, one wildfire event, and one winter storm event. So far, the total cost of these events exceeds $67.1 billion.

The unpredictability and force of these weather events require meticulous planning and prudent decision making as it relates to data center strategies.

Hurricanes, thunderstorms, torrential rains from atmospheric rivers and other catastrophic weather events, pose a unique threat to data centers. The combination of high winds, torrential rains and potential power outages can be devastating for business operations. Numerous business leaders starting with the CEO as well as the chief data officer, CIO and CTO are responsible for safeguarding important data, applications, and services against the fury of Mother Nature. In this article, we delve into key considerations that companies must consider in the development of their business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans for times of weather and climate inflicted crises. Some of the key factors include diversity of data center partnerships, location of data center facilities, network connectivity and security.

Diverse Partner

When evaluating data center partnerships, redundancy is a critical factor. By engaging with multiple data centers dispersed across different geographic regions, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with natural disasters. This diversity of locations ensures that the impact of any single catastrophic event remains localized and contained. In essence, a strategic partnership portfolio acts as a safety net, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.

Strategic Locations

While lower costs can be tempting, proximity to disaster-prone regions should prompt companies to assess their data center placement strategy. Opting for data centers situated in areas less susceptible to the fury of hurricanes, floods, landslides, or wildfires can substantially reduce the chances of catastrophic losses that could hinder or completely halt business operations. Facilities situated away from flood-prone areas and on higher ground reduce the risk of water damage during heavy rainfall and flooding. Selection of a safer geographical location serves as a proactive defense mechanism, enabling companies to circumvent the worst of nature’s wrath.

Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plans

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP) is the bedrock for a successful business continuity strategy. This includes having data backups in secure offsite locations. The ability to swiftly restore operations hinges on the synergy between an organization’s DRP and the capabilities of its chosen data center partner. Rigorous testing, continuous refinement and proactive collaboration facilitate seamless transitions in the wake of a disaster, sparing valuable time and resources.

Reliable Power Supply and Network Connectivity

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and backup generators are non-negotiable. They keep a data center running seamlessly, bridging the gap during power disruption and ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity that is critical for business operations. The selection of a data center partner must encompass meticulous scrutiny of network infrastructure and connectivity options. Low-latency connections between data centers are indispensable, enabling rapid data replication and seamless failover mechanisms. A data center partner with a well-established network ecosystem can expedite recovery processes and minimize downtime’s detrimental effects.

Regulatory Compliance and Security Measures

Amid the chaos of a disaster, regulatory compliance and data security remain unrelenting imperatives. Data center partners must align with the industry’s most rigorous standards, fortifying the safeguarding of critical data and adherence to regulatory mandates. The integration of robust physical security and cybersecurity measures bolsters data security, reassuring stakeholders of an unwavering commitment to their information’s confidentiality and availability.

Resilience isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving despite adversity. A data center built for resilience not only mitigates risks but also enhances reputation. A holistic approach, encompassing geographical diversity, disaster recovery planning, network connectivity and unwavering security measures, is pivotal in ensuring uninterrupted business operations. The partnership between businesses and their chosen data center providers takes on heightened significance. Clients, partners and stakeholders will trust in your business’ ability to maintain operations in the event of a hurricane or catastrophic natural disaster. Stay prepared, stay resilient and let your data center be the unsung hero that keeps your business thriving, no matter what the weather brings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peg Hallberg

Peg Hallberg is head of product for Cologix, a carrier and cloud-neutral hyperscale edge data center provider. Hallberg’s previous experience includes being director of product and solutions marketing at Flexential (formerly ViaWest) and other senior marketing leadership roles at companies such as Charter Communications and Level3.

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