With trips to the beach, fireworks, and ice cream, it could be easy to forget that the warmer weather of summer lends itself to more extreme weather occurrences. In many parts of Texas right now, for example, rainstorms have caused widespread destruction. We are also currently in the beginning stages of Hurricane Season. In order to protect against these and other instances of natural disaster as well as man-made disasters, data center facility operators must take a look at possible risks to mitigate them.
We've mentioned in a previous post about the potential harm an outage could cause a business. Therefore, assessing these risks and planning for them in your disaster recovery plan is crucial to long-term success. In its best practices guide for disaster recovery, Cisco Systems mentions several risks that could affect your facility. Here are several of the top ones to watch out for:
Water: Although some data centers do not use water-based cooling system, a water outage will certainly affect the facility in some capacity. Obviously, those that do use water-based cooling systems for IT equipment will be the most impacted.
Electricity: An area with significant outages could be problematic for a data center. Therefore, it's important to assess your power situation to determine your outage risk.
Fire: Is your facility near a fire station? Do you have building materials that are more prone to catching fire? How close is your facility from neighboring businesses? These are all questions that should be asked to gain a better understanding of your fire risk.
Structural: Your building's layout as well as the equipment used can pose or prevent risks. For example, if your facility is located in an area that is prone to earthquakes, do you have seismic cabinets to protect your server equipment? If not, your facility has an unnecessary and preventable risk.
Although there are many external threats that can affect your facility, many of the risks your facility faces can be mitigated. You can't control the weather or safeguard against every outage, but you can have a plan in place if an event were to occur. The first step is identifying those risks that are inherent with your facility. By identifying and planning against them, it will go a long way in mitigating your facility's risks.