Welcome!

Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Imran Akbar, Sharon Barkai, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Security, SOA & WOA

Security: Article

The Risks of Choosing a Data Center in a High Risk Area

Data centers are the lifeline of organizations and companies

Data centers are the lifeline of organizations and companies. This is because most backend operations like web hosting, data back up, data storage, email hosting and e-commerce activities are all carried out at the data centres. These data centers are also pivotal in ensuring websites are up and running continuously, and that people can conduct online purchases and transactions, make updates on social sites, read news updates as well as a host of other activities that people carry out regularly on the internet. All these just outline the indispensable roles that data centre hosting companies play in the day to day running and management of companies’ operations.

Data Centre Hosting

For most companies and organizations, small or large, outsourcing of data services is usually the best approach as it saves a lot on the recurrent expenditure of monthly running costs and also of hiring and maintaining technical personnel.  And most of the time, these data centres do not disappoint as they deliver quality services all through the year.

They achieve this by heavy investments on high speed bandwidth, power back up facilities, expensive servers, top grade hosting and security software and the best personnel. All these are done just to ensure that their clients get the best value for money.

While most data centers main focus is delivering quality and uninterruptible services to their clients, an aspect that is always overlooked is potential services interruption as a result of the effects of natural disasters and calamities. Potential causes of such disasters include: electrical storms, earthquakes, flooding from rain water and destruction of property resulting from hurricanes and typhoons. Despite the fact that some of these disasters can be predicted weeks before happening, it is never easy to predict the magnitude of their resultant destruction to property and equipment. Some disasters like power failures may appear less threatening as they can be handled comfortably by generators and uninterruptible power supply units. However, restoration might take longer than expected and in turn lead to data service interruptions.

This therefore adds a new dimension to considerations that people should make when selecting a data center to host their services, particularly when it comes to those located in high risk areas. In many instances, data hosting companies choose their premises based on a host of factors, running costs being a major one. Thus, you will find some data centre companies operating in disaster prone areas like renowned hurricane pathways or just zones prone to electrical storms and flooding.

Due to some of the data centers operating in these disaster prone areas there is no guarantee that their services won’t be interrupted because of some kind of disaster. Two important factors will determine if a data company will continue its operations or not. The first point is the data center's ability to migrate services to other data centre hosting sites not affected by the same disaster and secondly, being in a position to mitigate the effects of the disaster.

The most logical and functional option however is to migrate the services to other data centers that are not affected by a disaster. This is the only way a data company will ensure continuity of service and operations to its clients.

On the other hand, if a company just talks of mitigating the effects of a natural disaster: that may not sound satisfactory as some of these disasters can be so destructive to surpass the laid down buffer mechanisms. Therefore, if you have to use the services of a data center in a disaster prone area; you should ensure they have the ability to transfer your operations to safer centers in case their services are interrupted.

I would suggest though that you take into account all the features and services offered, but also choose a data center far and away from such high risk areas in favor of a more secure low risk spot. Don’t just choose a data center because it happens to be close if it lies in any problem areas as you may end up regretting it later on.

More Stories By Debbi Cole

Debbi Cole Has worked in the IT industry for eight years and specifically for Server Space for 5 years. She is a keen advocate of cloud hosting, cloud servers and Green data centre issues.

Debbi was a keen motorcycle enthusiast but has since given it up for the safer pass time of Yacht racing although both the weather and professional commitments severely restrict her opportunity to pursue this pass-time.