2 min read

Keeping Tornadoes out of your Server Room

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In the midst of spring, the severe weather threats of torrential rain, hail, and more importantly, high winds and tornadoes.  Many companies, especially small organizations should be reviewing their disaster contingency plans. However, many do not have adequate, if any, business continuity plans or have heavily outdated plans that are not reviewed regularly from an IT perspective in the event of a disaster.

While some organizations may have an idea how to handle employees not able to arrive to work via remote access, it’s important to note that cloud computing can greatly assist with remote access for their users.  But worse yet, many businesses don’t host their IT infrastructure in a datacenter with any sort of rating against natural disasters – instead, they keep their servers in a closet or storage room within their office area.  In the event of a natural disaster such as a fire, flood, or tornado, there may be no plan to bring the infrastructure back up in a reasonable time period.  Backups are no good if you don’t have viable equipment to load that data on to and you must wait for equipment to be built and shipped to you.

Fortunately, much of the risk to companies can be mitigated through cloud computing on a hosted infrastructure.  First National Technology Solutions’ Tier IV rated data center is in a premier location in Omaha. Many tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo have built datacenters in or near Omaha and Des Moines, IA due to isolation from many natural threats such as flooding, fires, earthquakes and hurricanes that occur on the coasts.  And in the event of a tornado, the First National Technology Solutions datacenter was designed to withstand 200 MPH winds, and 150 MPH debris impacts.  That’s equivalent to the wind speeds in an EF-5 tornado – similar to those which hit Joplin, Missouri in 2011 and Moore, Oklahoma in 2013.  Fortunately, only about 1.2 or 2% of tornadoes that occur in Nebraska are rated as high as an EF-3 or higher on average.  (For those of you who, like myself, are fascinated by tornadoes, the NCDC has more statistical trends on tornados and when and where they occur available here.)  In addition, FNTS has an alternate datacenter in the Chicago-area for those clients wishing to have even more disaster recovery capable infrastructure.

While some businesses may feel that cloud computing or even colocation is not a business requirement for them, ask must yourself how long your business can survive without its IT infrastructure.  Some businesses may be able to last a week or two or even a month, but many would last much less.  How long will it take you to bring all of your systems online?  For those of you not willing to take the risk, allow FNTS to host and manage your IT servers, and keep the tornadoes out of your server room.