Note: It’s important for your information to be safe from what nature has to throw at it, but it’s even more important to safeguard it on a day to day basis from more human threats. NetHosting guards all the tenants it hosts with the best security available, as well as thorough and effective disaster preparedness measures.

Information is as vulnerable as it is valuable. Here is what data centers do to protect the precious information stored on their servers in case disaster strikes.

Two weeks ago, a hosting company called StratITsphere, located about 80 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, held a conference addressing the threat hurricanes pose to data centers in that region and regions like it. The conference is a good illustration of data centers addressing the most devastating security threat to data centers: natural disasters. Once a natural disaster hits, unless you’re prepared, it can destroy more than just data. Nonetheless, it is a threat that is fairly straightforward and simple to address.

data-center-preparedness

While the primary focus of any protection or rescue effort should be placed upon citizens, homes, and basic infrastructure, the loss of data can also be detrimental to more than just profits. Many hospitals, relief organizations, response groups, and reconstruction efforts rely heavily on the data stored on servers to bring a chaotic situation back to normal. So protecting the valuable information stored in data centers is a priority.

Eweek.com gives 10 good tips for any data center, whether it is in danger of tornados, blizzards, extreme heat, hurricanes, flooding, or earthquakes, no matter how high or low the risk area is. These basic tips can save valuable servers from catastrophic down time and keep systems up and running during the most perilous times.

1. Knowledge is Power

The best thing data centers can do to keep personal and customer systems safe is to watch the weather and pay attention to alarm systems. It is important to know if a potential disaster is on its way and to take the proper steps to safeguard the employees and the systems. Just like every building is equipped with a fire escape route on the walls, data centers employees should know what to do in case of a natural disaster regarding the systems.

2. You Can Never Have Too Many Redundancies

After 9/11, companies have begun to keep their data replications in multiple locations as not to put all the eggs in one basket. Data centers strive to keep as many copies of the information stored on their servers in more than one safe location. They are also equipped with the parts and tools necessary to repair broken equipment, not to mention backup power in case the lights go out.

3. Drill!

To prove the systems actually work, data centers will run tests on all of their systems to make sure they will function in case of a power outage or other types of disasters. It’s not enough to just assume that protective measures will work in case the worst should happen. Taking from examples of other disasters, both good and bad, CIOs and data center managers will adapt and adjust their systems in order to withstand what comes at them.

4. Emergency Power

As data centers continue to grow, their backup power needs will grow as well. Data center managers figure out how much power their backup generators can put out, what they want to power (vending machines vs. server room AC units), and how much flexibility they want their UPSs to provide. Do they want just enough power to supply a bare bones operation, or do they want the same level of resources they had when things were rosy?

5. Priorities

A difficult step for data centers is to decide which applications are the most important. It can be very similar to the scenario, “If your house is on fire and you can take 3 things with you, what do you save?” Usually, it is split into three tiers: Mission critical, highly desirable, and non-essential. By prioritizing their assets, these companies can better allot their money and know where to place defenses and resources for protection and rescue.

6. Fallback Positions

Sadly, quite a few data centers put off deciding which information goes to which failover server. What’s even more tragic is it isn’t automated! More and more data centers are deciding to make this a high priority, lining out their fallbacks in case of server failures, and even making them automated.

Note: Cloud hosting is one of the safest methods of hosting for this reason. Your information is not located on just one server. Plus our servers are protected with the best disaster recovery software that is offered.

7. Keep Calm and Carry On!

Keeping the information safe is one thing, but maintaining the center as usual is another. It is important for data centers to develop a strategy on how to stay in business and serve clients even if the power in the entire city is out.

8. Getting Back Up

One of the best ways to get back up and to go on as usual is to implement disaster recovery software. For this market, there is no shortage of different types of disaster recovery software ranging from capabilities and cost. Some of the best can restore a completely wiped out server back to its previous condition in a matter of minutes.

9. Test Drive

This has happened to quite a few people when a website may not be accessible or a company’s systems are extremely slow or inoperable. The data centers in charge will most likely explain that they are testing their systems. One of these tests is to see what happens in case the primary servers crash and secondary or failover servers have to power the websites after that. If you notice downtime or inaccessibility, they have too and will make sure that doesn’t happen again when disaster strikes.

10. Team Up

A key to a speedy recovery is to have a well organized team. Should a data center be launched into catastrophe, a team is usually formed beforehand with the objective to get systems up and running again and keep them running until the situation normalizes.