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How Can Data Centres Prepare for Natural Disasters?

06 August, 2015

natural disastersFrom earthquakes and floods to cyclones and dust storms, the latest research has confirmed that in the last 10 years, 50% of data centres have experiences operational disruptions due to seismic activity or some form of other natural disaster. The research was commissioned bydata centre hosting firm Zenium Technology Partners and was part of a report titled Managing Growth, Risk and the Cloud. Yet despite the fact that half of respondents were affected by natural disasters, just 50% were operating in a data centre environment that could endure or recover from an incident.  


On average the research revealed that data centres experience around one natural disaster every two years, with severity varying from respondent to respondent. Turkey was one of the most victimised nations, accounting for 65% of disasters. The UK followed closely behind with 45% while Germany experienced 39%. Natural disasters are no cheap incident, with 91% of respondents confirming they had incurred unexpected recovery costs of up to £500,000.


So what can data centres do to safeguard operations against the risks of natural disasters, and ensure that they have clear cut contingency plans in place?


Choosing the right location


When constructing data centres location is of paramount importance. Building away from fault lines is always advised which makes the UK a great candidate. That said, the nation is prone to flooding which means project managers should seek out high ground in areas that aren’t prone to the risk of floods.  Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO of Zenium Technology Partners says, “This research demonstrates quite clearly that the location of the data centre should not be underestimated.”

Back up data

Mother Nature can be an unpredictable force and no matter how careful data centres are, the risk of natural disaster damage is never 100% eliminated. Should a worst case scenario occur it pays to have data backed up in a second hub.

Allocate disaster budgets

All data centre budget managers should set aside funds that can be used to subsidise natural disaster recovery efforts. Easy access to cash will fast-track the process and have operations back up and running ASAP.

Energy efficient air conditioning

In extreme heat and drought data centres should be effectively and efficiently cooled. Indirect adiabatic cooling is the latest energy efficient cooling solution, utilising next generation hygroscopic technology to evaporate and transfer heat.

Is your data centre prepared for a natural disaster? And if it was hit, would it be able to recover?


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