Our data centers are in the Midwest, far from ground zero for earthquakes. So although we don’t have to worry much about the effects of these natural forces, after the recent earthquake off the coast of Japan, we thought it was time to take a look at how data centers are evolving to survive seismic activity (Image at right courtesy of DatacenterDynamics).
Emerson Network Power, the makers of Liebert data center infrastructure equipment, recently developed an air handling unit for businesses in earthquake-prone areas like California. The idea behind the unit is simple. If an earthquake hits, control systems can be damaged even in a building designed to withstand strong seismic activity. What’s needed, then, is a control system that can “roll with the punches,” as it were, and keep a data center at the right temperature even after it’s shaken up.
To be recognized as seismically sound by international and California standards, Emerson Network Power had to subject their air handler to pass shake tests at an independent testing facility.
Emerson Network Power designed their air handling unit with buildings like hospitals, which often have their own data centers, in mind. If a hospital data center were to overheat and go off-line after an earthquake, thousands of lives would be endangered.
Of course, it’s easy to see how an earthquake-proof air handling system could also protect servers in data centers in universities, businesses, and colocation centers – and the millions of people who depend on connectivity for the livelihoods. So kudos to Emerson Network Power for making data centers in California and other places subject to earthquakes more secure than before.
Right now, our data centers have the best protection possible against fire, flood, and severe Midwestern weather. Some geologists think that, in a few hundred million years, the North American tectonic plate could split in two and make the Midwest a seismic hotbed. By then, we’ll be ready for earthquakes and lava flows too.
Is your business protected? We invite you to take a virtual data center tour to learn how VISI’s colocation services can protect your company’s data from the elements.