Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Is Your Data Center Ready this Hurricane Season?

Is Your Data Center Ready this Hurricane Season?

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season for regions on the Atlantic Ocean. And not to be an alarmist, but meteorologists are predicting 2022 to be a busier than normal hurricane season.

While human safety is the most important issue, data protection is critical. After all, functioning data systems help keep people safe and assist them in returning to normal life after weather events.

Now is the time to be considering data protection, specifically a data center, in preparation for hurricane season.

Use the questions below to guide your search for a data center or to evaluate the readiness of your current one.

How strong is the data center?  

This is an obvious consideration. More questions are listed below to determine the building’s strength and its likelihood for being affected directly by a hurricane or its aftermath.

-Is the data center located in a flood zone? And the best scenario – It’s located outside of a 500-year floodplain.

-Has the data center always been accessible by vehicles in previous weather events?

-Is it deemed “storm-hardened”?

-Is the roof wind rated? If so, what is the rating?

-Are the windows covered with a blast guard window film?

After all, if the building is no longer standing or not accessible by vehicle after a weather event, it’s failed to serve its purpose – to keep business moving forward, even in tough conditions.

What about continued service for the data center during storms?  

Colocation services allow companies to store their private servers and equipment in an off-site location for a monthly fee. This solution is cost-effective for businesses, as on-premise data centers are expensive to build, staff and maintain, and they provide no distance from a weather event affecting the parent company.

But, clients like you want to know that your colocation services at a data center will continue even with a hurricane bearing down on the Texas coast.

Here are some questions to ask to ensure likely service.

-What is the data center’s uptime service level agreement (SLA)? Word of caution, many centers offer 100% uptime. However, in the fine print, you’ll often find that they’re reliant on insurance policies to offset any failings. You want a data center that provides 100% uptime due to its infrastructure, not its willingness to pay you if something fails.

-Does the data center offer redundancy and concurrency for power, connectivity, and cooling? In layman’s terms, does the data center utilize multiple components and pathways so failures in equipment don’t derail data protection?

-Is blended internet used?

-Are backup generators ready and on-premise?

-Does the data center ensure full power for at least 24 hours for the whole facility?

-Is there access to backup fuel? Is it on standby or on-premise?

-Is the data center’s cooling system dependent on cooling towers linked to public utilities? Best case scenario – Its cooling system is not reliant on public works.

-Does your data center use standby equipment in a lead or lag rotation? This routine ensures backup equipment is operable when needed.

Is a human available onsite to assist my team during a storm?

You’ll want to hear a “Yes” to this question. Below are others to ask to further confirm human assistance during a crisis.

-Does your data center staff employees on-site24/7?

-What is the process for seeking assistance? Is a support ticket required? If so, who addresses the ticket? During a crisis, does this process for assistance look different? If so, how is it different during an emergency? 

-Does the data center personnel routinely check lights and cables, rack equipment delivered to the center, and replace faulty or old hardware?

-Does the data center team prepare the area for my group’s arrival during an emergency event? Set up office space? Provide food and drink?

Is there office space for us at the data center or nearby? 

For business to continue as usual during a horrific weather event, workers must have a viable space to work – a place with power and access to the company’s data.  

The questions below will help ensure a business continuity plan for your team.

-How far is the data center or the affiliated office space from the company’s home base? Ideally, the drive should only be a few hours, and the “office space” should be located on major roads with food and lodging options.

-If the workspace is not adjoining the data center, how resilient is that office building? (Many of the questions in the first two sections of this article are relevant here.)

-Does the contract with the data center include assistance with setting up workspace during a time of crisis?  

What about entrance into the data center during an emergency?

You want to know, in advance of a crisis, how your team can physically access equipment inside the data center. Ask the questions below to learn more about a data center’s security plan.  

-Can the data center grant entrance using biometrics or an access card? Preferably, you want multi-factor authorization as well.

-Does the data center maintain an up-to-date list of approved employees who can access equipment there?

-Are data center personnel trained for how to grant access (or remove it) during a crisis?

-Are security guards employed by the data center 24/7?

Has the data center “withstood the test of time”…and storms?  

Yes, we know new data centers are popping up every day. And many of them are great options. But, you’re not wrong to ask about any storms a data center has already weathered.

-When was this data center built?

-What storms has this data center already weathered? How did it fair during the storm(s)?

-Will you share some references/companies who rode out the storm with your data center?

-Can you quickly boost bandwidth, etc. and then do the paperwork? Basically, you want to know how much red tape is in the way of protecting your data in an emergency situation and for business to continue on.

FIBERTOWN Has Answers to Your Data Center Questions

We wrote this article to help you prepare for hurricane season. Plus, we’re confident in our answers to the questions above. Hurricane season, middle of the winter, or on a sunny Tuesday in the middle of October – we’re ready to answer them.

If you’re looking for a data center or unhappy with your current contract with a data center, we should talk. With hurricane season beginning soon, now is the time.

 

NOTE:

This article is an addition to one we published in July 2020. Read our original article 7 Key Questions to Ensure Your Data Center is Hurricane Resistant for more insight into protecting your data and, ultimately, your business during hurricane season.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Disaster Recovery Weekly   Latest 0 comments on ‘Tis the Season for Hurricane Readiness

‘Tis the Season for Hurricane Readiness

Hurricane and tropical depression hazards come in a variety of forms, including storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding.

The steps you take before the storm are critical.

Having an emergency weather plan in place is imperative to handle the disaster — as well as your recovery.

What should you do before a hurricane strikes?

The most important part of your plan is being prepared. Consider these steps before a hurricane threatens your area:

     1. Prepare your emergency plan.
  • Develop or review your emergency plan, train your staff and run practice drills.
  • Include communication pieces for staff and contact information for your police/fire/gas/electrical providers and insurance carrier.
     2. Create basic life safety tasks.
  • Have evacuation or shelter procedures in place.
  • Train people in first aid, medical procedures, CPR, etc.
     3. Prepare emergency kits.
  • Have first aid and emergency safety kits on hand that are fully stocked with updated materials: non-perishable foods, bottled water, blankets, clothing, flashlights and batteries.
     4. Prepare your building.
  • Inspect your roof to ensure it will withstand hurricane-force winds and rain.
  • Consider adding hurricane clips, gable end bracing, hurricane-proof doors, and hurricane shutters.
  • Store materials such as plywood, screws, caulk, and sandbags to deploy quickly if a hurricane approaches.
  • Inspect your sump pump and replace batteries so you don’t rely on electrical power.
     5. Have a business continuity plan.
  • Establish a business continuity plan to maintain and resume operations during and after the hurricane.
  • Back up important data stored on computers to external hard drives or cloud storage.

What should you do when a hurricane is approaching?

Time becomes a critical factor when you know you’re in the path of a hurricane. Be decisive and heed the warnings of local emergency management officials.

     1.Keep people safe and informed.
  • Your priority in any emergency is to keep people safe.
  • Start activating a phone chain for updates.
     2. Move your valuables and documents to a safe location.
  • Raise items above floor level and or store them in a safe place, dry and up high.
  • Shut down computers and electronics.
     3. Secure your building.
  • Close and secure all doors.
  • Shut off electricity.

What happens once the storm is over?

When the skies clear and all emergency issues are resolved, you enter the recovery stage.

     1. Designate specific individuals to return to the site.
  • Work in teams and assess any damage.
  • Contact utility contractors.
  • Conduct basic repairs as necessary to secure the facility afterwards.
     2. Communicate with all team members to provide a status report.
  • Determine if the damages are severe enough to restrict usage or implement a temporary relocation plan.
  • Coordinate volunteer cleanup efforts.
     3. Follow up with your insurance carrier.
  • Report any damages that occurred to the claims team.
     4. Re-assess your plans.
  • It is critical that you and your team assess how well your safety action plan worked.
  • Are there improvements you could make? Should you consult with industry experts and learn how to better prepare?

The best preparations will help your team be ready for any storm.

FIBERTOWN data centers are built to withstand winds of 135 MPH, have generator backup in case utilities shutdown, and have personnel in our NOC 24/7/365 — even during a hurricane.

We’re always there to help whenever you need.

If you’re looking for disaster recovery office space, call FIBERTOWN today.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Ready for Severe Weather: Business Continuity is Key

Ready for Severe Weather: Business Continuity is Key

In the face of fierce weather, it’s vital that your business can adapt quickly to whatever challenges are thrown your way.

Extreme weather like Winter Storm Uri and hurricanes like Harvey and Ike have shown us that business as usual must also include contingency plans for disasters.

Business resilience may sound like another buzzword for the boardroom, but being able to continue day-to-day operations during a disaster plays a major role in customer satisfaction, retention and reputation.

Prepare your business for challenges

FIBERTOWN data centers coupled with disaster recovery and business continuity office space provide peace of mind when urgent situations strike.

Communicating with employees and customers during disruptions is critical.

To ensure operations and functions through uncertain times, our concurrent and redundant data centers prevent downtime to maintain connectivity and productivity.

“Mature organizations understand the practicality and even necessity of a remote, high-availability operational workspace — for training in quiet times and guaranteed access in times of uncertainty.”

Unique features of FIBERTOWN data centers and office space
Offering dedicated disaster recovery office space with Dark Fiber connected to the data center, FIBERTOWN has prepared facilities ready for customers at a moment’s notice.

Your business enjoys 100% uptime for power, cooling, networks, and security, to ensure business operations and to enable and deploy remote workforces.

FIBERTOWN provides the latest technology and connectivity to multiple carriers.

Mission-critical operations like the Combined Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) for Brazos County, the Cities of Bryan and College Station, and Texas A&M, and Brazos Valley 911, in addition to petroleum pipeline control operations and hospital systems, count on us for 100% uptime for data systems, as well as private, secure, high-availability business continuity office suites.

Ready for this year’s hurricane season

At FIBERTOWN, we help companies address two key factors: maintaining the availability of your critical technical systems and work area recovery space.

Our trusted service team is also available to be your remote hands and eyes to help during times of disaster or pandemic.

Call us today, and gain peace of mind knowing you can handle any disaster that comes your way.

Disaster Recovery 0 comments on The Importance of On-site Personnel During a Natural Disaster

The Importance of On-site Personnel During a Natural Disaster

The 2020 hurricane season has been one-of-a-kind.

Texas residents have had to deal with increased storm frequency as well as storm preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic, which adds an additional layer of complications.

In addition to their personal safety and that of their employees, business owners and managers must also consider how to keep business operations online and functional.

Continue Reading “The Importance of On-site Personnel During a Natural Disaster”