bczachura Data Center by Design: Preparing for extended power outages

July 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are a fan of disaster films all you have to do is turn on the national news and grab a bowl of popcorn! The Southwest has hundreds of square miles on fire in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and California; the Midwest is experiencing the worst drought in decades, all time record temperatures, violent storms, and tornados; and the Southeast is undergoing major flooding, all combining to leave thousands of business and private homes without power for extended periods of time. Wow!

Colorado FireLuckily, some of the fires have been contained and while not enough, we’ve finally seen some rain. But, all that disaster coverage got me thinking about how I would personally deal with a disaster. Now, keep in mind that just about anything that can interrupt power or operations is categorized as a disaster, but I am not referring to a blown transformer that takes out power for six hours. I am talking about the kind of disaster that the recent June 29th storms brought to the Northeast US. High winds, hail, rain, trees down, roads blocked, widespread power outages, and extremely limited travel due to blocked roads. People were without power for up to seven days in some areas. Seven days in 100°F+ temperatures. Again, Wow!

Downed Tree and PowerIf a massive storm hit Indiana, I have the enormous advantage of living only two miles away from where I work at Data Cave. A typical data center has enough fuel on site to maintain operations for two days or so, and then is dependent on fuel deliveries, which can be a very dicey proposition in disaster areas with flood waters, downed trees and restricted travel. Not to mention hospitals and other such locations take priority delivery over a data center. Data Cave, on the other hand, keeps sufficient fuel on site to maintain operations for about three weeks, a full 21 days before needing fuel delivery.

I know where I will be heading when the storm hits, and it’s a comforting thought.

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