Protect Your Data Center Against Failures As Well As Attacks
Disaster recovery plans can be invoked for many reasons. Operational problems often occur due to cyberattacks that overload networks, and prevention efforts often focus on security. However, there are many other reasons for potential outages, because virtual systems still run in the physical world.
Possible Causes of Outages
The physical condition of the data center or computer room is an important factor in preventing outages. Common problems that can cause outages include:
Primary power sources can fail for many reasons; these failures are compounded when the UPS systems intended to provide protection fail. In fact, just a few years ago, UPS failures were the most common cause of outages. Generator failures are another source of outages.
Like living creatures, computer systems have preferred climates. Excess heat, humidity, floods, or even dust lead to system failures.
Aging equipment, or equipment that hasn’t been properly maintained, is likely to fail.
Whether caused by an electrical spark or arson, fire can do serious damage to a business’s IT infrastructure.
Other outages are caused by real-world problems that originate outside the data center. These include weather-related problems, such as hurricanes that knock out power and floods that damage equipment.
Preventing Disasters in the Data Center
No one can control the weather, so businesses can only plan to respond to weather-related outages. But the other problems arise in the data center itself, and there are steps businesses should take to protect against these problems. These steps include:
1. Routine maintenance
Ongoing maintenance is critical to ensuring devices remain operational. This includes not just the IT systems themselves, but the power, UPS, cooling, and other environmental infrastructure that keeps the IT systems functioning.
2. Physical security
Access to the data center and to equipment must be controlled to prevent loss due to deliberate or accidental actions.
3. Build redundant systems
When physical devices fail, another device must be substituted, whether it’s a backup located in the primary data center, a secondary site, or a virtual system in the cloud. Redundant infrastructure in cooling and power are vital for restoring systems in the data center, which is likely to be quicker and faster than recovering in an alternate site. Training employees in the recovery process, documenting the steps, and testing them is also necessary.
Physical deterioration that can lead to outages can be visible to the naked eye. You should be walking through your data center and routinely checking for small problems before they grow large enough to impact operations.
Use a Data Center Infrastructure Management tool to consolidate your environmental monitoring in a single system that’s monitored by a highly responsible and highly responsive team.