Mitigating risk is a good practice for any business. When it comes to protecting your IT infrastructure, it’s as mission-critical as the data and applications it powers. Though downtime can arise from multiple seen and unseen factors, in a third of cases (33.9%) it can be attributed to one cause: natural disaster.
But which are the most likely disasters to impact your data center? Familiarize yourself with this list to better form your business continuity plan and ensure uninterrupted up time.
Hurricane or Tornado
High winds from hurricanes and tornadoes can create devastating effects on your data center. Authorities like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and others have collected much evidence to suggest that these severe outbreaks are increasing in both number and severity. These large-scale atmospheric catastrophes can strike anytime, anywhere without warning. No matter how carefully you’ve chosen your site, it’s important to be prepared.
Blizzard or Ice Storm
Erratic weather events like heavy snowfall and or severe ice storms can not only damage your physical infrastructure, they can also prevent staff and support personnel from accessing the center. When roads are impassible, your data center is at serious risk.
According to the NEIC, there are roughly 55 earthquakes reported each day. That number has steadily increased from the average 16 major earthquakes to as many as 24 per year in active periods like 2010. Even areas with a low risk of seismic activity that fall in zone 1 aren’t immune. For instance, North Texas has already experienced 22 quakes in the first three quarters of 2016. While seismic data center enhancements can help insulate from damage, a direct impact could spell disaster.
From lightning storms to overloaded power grids, it’s crucial your data center can sustain itself in the face of a utility power fail. Although generators are commonly placed as alternative power, having access to more than one power grid will significantly reduce the risk of a prolonged outage.
Flood or Fire
Flash floods can occur virtually anywhere after a massive rain. The same is true of wildfires when the humidity is low during a dry season. It is important to select a data center that is free and clear of these potential disasters. Should there be an outage from the utility feeds, both flood and fire could prevent a fuel truck from supplying diesel to the generator, which can cause downtime to your operation.
Non-weather Related Disasters
Preparing for inclement weather is no doubt important, but Mother Nature isn’t the only scenario that can send your disaster recovery plans into action. Over the years we’ve seen everything from legal disasters to theft all the way up to transportation disruptions and pandemics shut down a data center. It’s also worth noting that the second leading cause of downtime is user error, according to Security Magazine.
What you can do to protect your data center from disaster
When moving server equipment to a secure off-site location isn’t an option, most companies choose one of two routes to safeguard against a potential disaster.
A Disaster Recovery Plan (DR) gives directives informing staff where to report and how to respond to different interruptions. Conversely, a Business Continuity Plan (BC) helps to keep essential functions of your business up and running when the unexpected strikes.
You can also conduct careful research based on the geographic location of your data center. By looking at historical data on trusted sites like FEMA, NOAA, and USGS you can get a sense of what disasters may be on the horizon.
Ultimately, if you’re operating without a disaster recovery or business continuity plan, you’re jeopardizing your entire organization. Disasters, both natural and manmade can lead to expensive downtime or worse, a failed operation, entirely. Don’t leave yourself open and vulnerable to the unexpected.
Want to reduce your data center’s inherent vulnerabilities? Contact us to see how Global IP Networks can insulate you from the direct and indirect costs of a disaster induced datacenter outage.