Natural disasters can strike at any moment in any corner of the globe. I learned this first hand through my experiences as a firefighter in the emergency services. For families, this includes storing non-perishable foods and flashlights with spare batteries. For enterprises, an increasingly popular option is storing critical workloads in the cloud. And for cloud service providers, this means architecting data centers that are able to withstand whatever is happening outside.
The cloud provides offsite infrastructure and services allowing mission critical data and applications to remain operable in times of emergency. Reliability and consistency are integral features, and two essential factors we find enterprises weigh heavily in selecting a cloud provider. Even when a data center is located in the heart of a storm, there needs to be protections in place to prevent system failover. Cloud providers must maintain the strictest building enhancements and features to prevent tragedy from striking on the inside as well. You can’t forget the fundamentals of prudent data center design just because everything is called cloud now.
One of Verizon Terremark’s flagship facilities, the 750,000 sq. foot NAP of the Americas, is located in Miami, FL. With hurricanes a staple of the regional climate, we knew the building required advanced features to protect our customers’ data. That is why we constructed equipment floors 32 feet above sea level, designed a sloped roof to aid the drainage of floodwater in excess of a hundred-year storm intensity, and constructed seven inch thick steel reinforced concrete exterior panels, among numerous other precautions, in order to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We are prepared and have proven time and again all over the world that our data centers can stand up to extreme weather conditions.
Beyond the building infrastructure, the ultimate goal is to protect the equipment inside. In the event of a power outage, if power is not generated inside the building, then servers, cooling and other critical equipment can suffer irreparable damage. This is why we architect redundant systems to maintain power and cooling, allowing our data centers and our customers’ most valuable workloads to remain fully operational.
We have to remember though that the physical infrastructure and equipment are only part of the story. Cloud customers need disaster recovery services to function, especially when a natural disaster can compound damage. We take pride in our unique approach to Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) where we partner with our customers to provide expert knowledge and service in case of failover. As partners, we have experts available 24/7/365 because we know every second of downtime negatively impacts our customers’ revenue and reputation. By providing access for data to burst into additional capacity, we limit downtime and save our customers major expenses.
At Verizon Terremark, we understand full well the implications of natural disasters on IT. We build our data centers to withstand forces of nature and give our customers peace of mind when they need it most. Our top of the line infrastructures, coupled with our advanced power system and cloud services, provide reassurance in times of great uncertainty. With customers in every market, including federal, financial and consumer, we are responsible for data and applications that affect the lives of millions of individuals. As a rule of thumb, leave nothing to chance.