As Hurricane Matthew rages, let’s ask an important question. When severe weather strikes, who do we rely upon? Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders are an obvious answer, and often put themselves at risk to serve those impacted by major storms, including the hardheaded that refuse to heed warnings to evacuate before hurricanes.
Hospitals stay open, staffed, and ready to treat those injured in a weather event. Power company employees deserve kudos for their commitment to limiting the length of weather-driven outages. Public officials involved in emergency preparedness see their planning and ability to intelligently react to unforeseen events put to the test. The news media likes to tout their own performance during weather emergencies.
The valuable work that data center employees do during significant weather events is completely overlooked as they attempt to maintain the uptime of the IT infrastructure that all of these other professionals reply upon. Data center employees systematically drill for major weather events and similar emergencies with well-thought-out plans, detailed practice and preparation. Thanks to Matthew, those plans are being put to the test.
Employees of data centers will leave their families, some of whom are at-risk themselves, for days on end as they try to keep their facilities up and running. Hurricane Sandy showed that the margin for error in avoiding a data center outage in a storm can be slim. Some data center providers that suffered outages during Sandy were skewered. Some who avoided service interruption by extraordinarily narrow margins breathed a sigh of relief.
Similar stories may be told in the weeks to come. All the best to all the dedicated data center employees seeking to maintain uptime in support of services and communications relied upon by so many during Hurricane Matthew.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.