Are You Prepared for a Fire in Your Server Room?
by Stephanie Faris on Monday, August 24 6:00
It can happen when you least expect it. A fire breaks out in your office space, taking furniture, electronic equipment, and file cabinets filled with paper-based files. In an office, this can mean having to relocate for the weeks or months it takes to make the space inhabitable again.
If the fire breaks out in a server room, the results can be devastating. Even businesses that have been diligent about backups can find operations interrupted as professionals work to get everything working the way it was before the fire. It s important for a business to conduct a full assessment of its disaster preparedness long before a situation occurs and, since a fire is one of the worst things that can happen to a server room, it s important to stop and imagine what would happen. Would your server room be prepared?
The best way to keep your server storage areas safe from smoke and fire damage is through the use of fire suppression systems. Businesses need a system in place that can detect and contain a fire without bringing harm to equipment through the use of water or dangerous materials. If a business maintains its own data center, it s important to make sure a fire suppression system is put in place along with temperature controls and other safety measures. For those businesses contracting with a third-party provider, it s probably time to ask questions about what fire-suppression measures are in place in the data centers that house your all-too-important data.
Data and Application Backup
Once you ve put equipment in place to help prevent a fire from damaging your sensitive information, it s time to make sure your data is being safely backed up on a regular basis. Technology specialists recommend setting up multi-location backup procedures. Your data should be backing up to more than one physical location to account for building devastation in one of those places. If mirroring isn t an option, a business could offload backup media to a safe location on a regular basis.
How long after a fire would it take for you to be able to access the applications and files you need to conduct business? Even with the most thorough backup procedures, a business may find an application is so old, it can t be easily recreated on a newer server. It s important to work all of this out well before it s necessary to think about it.
Once you ve thought through all of the technology issues, take time to think about how your employees will work while you deal with the damage. Will you set up server space in a new location temporarily? How complicated will it be to connect everyone to it? Set up a back up plan well in advance and test your environment to make sure your employees will be able to work if your files and applications must be set up on new servers.
While it s unlikely your business will suffer a server room fire, there are many disasters that could affect a space. By putting a disaster preparedness plan in place, you ll be ready to deal with anything that comes up.