Safeguarding your Data in the Face of Extreme Weather

Posted on February 10, 2015 by Adam Burnham

By Paul Diamond

If you’ve been following the weather forecast in the Northeast or live in a region currently being slammed with snow, ice and wind – our Boston-based Markley Group team has faced three snow storms in just over two weeks – you know the immense strain it can put on infrastructure, services and resources. And for organizations needing to ensure their data is not only safe, but that it’s accessible to employees and customers regardless of where they might be working from, picking the right data center and storage solution is the key to being successful in the face of extreme weather, such as blizzards, hurricanes, floods and more. Here are our top tips for keeping data and storage systems safe-and-sound when Mother Nature throws you a curve ball:

Pick the right data center. Data centers are generally the safest and most secure location for IT equipment. They have to be. With many data centers accepting responsibility for housing millions (or even billions) of dollars’ worth of customer equipment, there is no room for error. That being said, not all data centers are created equal, so it’s important to do your research before signing a long-term agreement. Is the data center built in a flood plain area, or something similar, that leaves it more prone to being affected during extreme weather? That’s something you have to know. Other data centers may fail to take necessary precautions like contracting with fuel companies to provide fuel for the generators in the event of an outage, and some don't have the necessary electrical backup and overcommit on guaranteed electrical capacity. These centers might work so long as there are no issues, but as soon as there's a problem with primary power, not everyone will be protected. When all is said and done, be sure your data center is in a safe location, has the support commitments and robust infrastructure to weather any storm.

Send your data to the cloud. Cloud storage and computing is not only a secure option for any business, it is also an easy way to diversify your solution and limit the exposure to any single location being hit by a natural disaster. Take Markley Group’s home base of Boston, as example. Even though the city has received record snow fall in an extremely short period of time, our diversified storage locations across the country ensure our customers remain operational around the clock. So when committing to a third party service provider, ensure they that have multiple locations and offer primary and backup solutions in multiple regions. By diversifying your storage solutions, your organization and data will be protected even from very large natural disasters.

Have a backup plan. Even if you’re able to pick the safest, most reliable data center and mitigate risk by diversifying your storage solutions across regions and locations, the unexpected can still happen. Make sure that you work with your data center and cloud provider to put in place a backup plan. It’s important that every constituent know how to execute on it when the unpredictable strikes. This not only includes things like backup generators, but it also includes designating employee responsibilities and protocol so everyone can execute properly when extreme weather takes its toll. To learn more about how you can eliminate downtime, weather-induced or not, read our recent blog post here.

What is your organization doing to ensure your data is safe and accessible, regardless of weather or natural disasters? Share your thoughts with us here or connect with Markley Group on Twitter. And if you’re currently looking to upgrade your data center provider or cloud storage solutions to ensure your critical information is never out of reach, Markley Group can help – our 20 year history and zero downtime record prove our commitment to delivering best-of-breed services, regardless of the elements. Contact a Markley Group expert today to learn more.