In other words, we will now find out whether or not the IT systems are resilient enough to withstand times of crisis. Critical considerations are how and where the IT infrastructures are operated.
What are the key factors for data center operation?
It is now more important than ever before to house critical IT infrastructures in dedicated data centers, separate from office buildings. Data centers such as this are geared up to run during a crisis and they provide an environment that meets the stringent business continuity management requirements. They are positioned away from potential hot spots and locations with a high footfall, while ensuring the access needed for operation at all times, plus time slot assignment and management should this prove necessary. Virtually no companies are willing to operate these data centers themselves; instead, they put their trust in established providers with suitable experience.
Even though data center providers appear to be similar at first glance, the differences become apparent on a closer look – including with respect to operational reliability at times of crisis.
The following criteria should therefore be examined carefully when choosing the data center provider.
- Does the provider operate several data center locations to allow for a reliable geo-redundant set-up for my IT systems?
- Does the provider have fully-operational emergency workstations for my staff? And for his own organization?
- What is the contractually guaranteed availability, what values has the provider attained so far and how often are the facilities tested?
- Has the provider implemented a pandemic contingency plan, does it have an established crisis communication system and a local crisis management committee which has the authority to take action? Also, are appropriate communication channels in place so that staff are able to ensure that key persons can be contacted and important work can be organized from their home offices?
- Does the provider invest in protective measures, staff training and servicing and maintaining the facilities?
- Has the provider itself got enough skilled staff and alternative locations to maintain operation?
- Does the provider also offer remote hands- and smart hands-services so that, during a crisis, work can be carried out on site in the data center on behalf of the customer?
And another important question is can the data center provider take decisive action on site and is it networked with the authorities and emergency services?
On a closer look, not all data centers can ensure the ideal conditions for secure and reliable housing across several locations. This means that it now makes even more sense to add to your list of requirements.