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Building Operating Management
PAGE Q&A: Data Center Expert Chris Wade on Disaster Preparedness, Planning What To Do When You Can't Prevent Storm Damage To Your Data Center Critical Data Center Areas To Test Before The Storm Arrives

Critical Data Center Areas To Test Before The Storm Arrives

By Casey Laughman, Managing Editor Emergency Preparedness   Article Use Policy

5. If you're facing an event like Sandy, what sort of testing can you do beforehand? How can you truly determine if your preparations are adequate for something like a hurricane?
Redundancy and disaster recovery plans are key components when it comes to preparing and responding to a natural disaster such as a hurricane. Testing these plans and redundancies is also extremely important in making sure the data center stays on-line. Testing should be included as a normal part of your site operational procedures. You can have the best laid plans on paper, but if you never test it you don’t really know if it will operate as planned or not.
Here are some critical operational tests that should be conducted:  

•    Cooling system fail-over tests
•    Electrical system failover to generators tests
•    Generator system operational tests (and quarterly generator load tests)
•    Communications Network fail-over tests
•    Emergency notification system tests
•    Data center alerting system tests (voice, email, SMS, Twitter, etc.)
•    NOC or Control Room operations from alternate site

Other Resources:
Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina:
What the University of Iowa learned from an Iowa River flood:
Disaster Recovery: Identifying Risks and Critical Facility Operations:

Chris Wade, principal consultant at Resilient Critical Facility Solutions, has more than two decades of experience in all aspects of mission critical facility management, business continuity and disaster recovery in both the private and public sectors. He holds certifications in data center operations, facility management, business continuity and project management. Prior to starting his consulting practice, Wade held various leadership positions at Walmart’s Information Systems Division including Global Data Center Services and IT Service Continuity.

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posted on 11/2/2012