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Preparing a Data Center for Inclement Weather

Much of the country experienced record low temperatures last month as Winter Storm Inga brought snow and ice to the Midwest, East and South. Winter weather can have a major impact on your IT systems – from power outages to heating and air equipment failures. How does a data center prepare for inclement weather? Immedion’s Director of Facilities Operations and Director of Customer Services provide insight into what it takes to keep a data center always on – regardless of the conditions outside.

All facilities must remain fully operational 24x7x365.

Adam Larkins, Immedion’s Director of Facilities Operations, is tasked with insuring Immedion’s seven data center facilities remain fully operational 24x7x365. “Preparation is our everyday job function,” explained Adam. “We view every detail through the prism of ‘when this fails, then do this’ to ensure the facilities are always fully operational during emergency situations or abnormal conditions.” The facilities team performs routine preventative maintenance tasks and inspections of building systems year-round. This includes maintenance and repairs for HVAC, mechanical, electrical and plumbing building systems. They also constantly monitor telemetry data transmitted from sensors on power sources and cooling systems. By analyzing the data, the facilities team can measure system performance to ensure all equipment is operating properly.

Each Immedion facility has redundant, uninterruptible power systems and diesel generator systems as a backup in case of utility power failure. As inclement weather systems arise, the facilities team verifies the fuel tanks are 100% and that additional resources are available if needed. The generators are exercised regularly to ensure functionality. Our site operations team inspects the buildings and grounds to ensure these areas are clear in the case of heavy or damaging winds. They also verify that all facility infrastructures, like roof drains, are functioning properly to handle the weather conditions. Our site operations team follows a detailed checklist to ensure all facility preparations are completed.

The customer support team is committed to delivering on our always on promise.

Immedion’s Director of Customer Services, Edward MacMillan, is responsible for managing Immedion’s always on customer support team. When storms are on the radar, the customer support team holds frequent data center check-point calls for up-to-the-minute details as weather unfolds. The support team also increases data center rounds in times of heavy rains, storms, floods and wind, checking that all systems are up and running smoothly.

Most importantly, the Network Operations Center (NOC) and site operations teams must be on-site to make sure each facility remains staffed and fully operational. As weather conditions worsen, support team staff levels are increased to ensure 24x7x365 coverage is maintained in each data center. “Maintaining critical staffing levels is crucial to delivering on our always on promise to our customers,” said Edward.

Immedion’s operations and customer service teams work around the clock to ensure your mission-critical data and systems remain always on in any weather event. We’re always prepared, and you should be too. Use these helpful resources to make sure your organization is ready for the effects of inclement weather:

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