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When Running a Data Center, Contingency Plans are a Must

by johnsamuel

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When you’re running and operating a data center, things such as backup and recovery are most important. After all, if you can’t keep your customers’ data and equipment running, and safe, at all times, you’re not going to be in business for very long. When talking about contingency plans for data centers, talk often centers around things such as backing up data on a regular basis, and ensuring that recovery systems are in place should any one server break down at any time. But what if your data center is located in a disaster zone? What kind of contingency plan should you have in place then?

Contingency plans that are specific for disaster-type situations are actually called disaster recovery plans. These are plans that deal with natural disasters such as hurricanes, landslides, lightning, tornadoes, and blizzards; as well as man-made disasters such as hazardous material spills, power failures, and radiation accidents. Of course planning for such disasters is difficult is difficult at best, due to the very nature of their randomness and spontaneity. But making sure that you have some kind of contingency plan, should a disaster of any kind strike, is extremely important.

The first reason you need to make sure you have a contingency plan, of course, is because you need to ensure that the important data and equipment you’re housing is protected at all times. If you lose the data that’s stored on your customers’ servers, or the actual servers themselves become damaged, it’s not only a great loss to their business as well as yours, but you could be legally liable for them, too.

The other reason you need to make sure you have a good contingency plan in place is because your customers will ask if you have one, and they will want to know what it is. If you don’t have one in place and ready to talk over with those customers, you’ll lose that business before you even had it. colocation

So the question is, what should your contingency plan involve?

Laying out a step-by-step disaster recovery plan for any one data center is futile, unless you work at or own that data center and are extremely familiar with its layout and its systems. However, there are some key components to every good disaster recovery plan that should be included in yours.

The first component to any good disaster recovery plan is to ensure there are preventative measures. These are steps and processes that are put into place to prevent disaster from striking. If your data center is in an area that’s prone to flooding for example, you might locate your center on high ground, and keep all equipment up and well away from the floor.

Secondly, detective measures, or measures put into place that will spot any problems as they occur, are important to include in any disaster recovery plan. So for instance, any smoke or fire alarms that you install in your data center will be part detective measures in your plan.

Lastly, corrective measures are measures taken to correct anything that went wrong during the disaster. These could include things such as insurance policies, and storing data in backup devices off-site.

Disaster recovery plans aren’t difficult to make, but when you do it’s important that you examine everything that could potentially go happen; and then plan for it just in case it ever does.




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