How are data centres managing the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the precautionary measures taken? And what are data centre future planning methods?
These are questions that are being explored extensively by the industry and we wanted to share them with you through a short summary of our insights!
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How are data centres managing the COVID-19 pandemic?
As the explosive growth for digital communications continuous to rise, the social distancing measures that governments have put in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus has directly affected the dramatic increase of traffic on networks around the world.
Group-collaborations apps such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams surge in usage with the Teams platform seeing a growth of 12 million new users in 7 days (that’s 900 million meetings and calling minutes being generated every day). Education too has seen a rise in remote learning with schools closing, many pupils are switching to online tools in order to facilitate this.
Data centres receive, process and transmit digital data as part of our core infrastructure. They are a physical manifestation of our interconnected lives and the spread of the novel coronavirus directly implies that data centre services that underpin the traffic seen in remote working and teleconferencing, are rising sharply.
What are the precautionary measures taken?
Although there is an automated aspect to data centres, there is still a strong need for maintenance,management and servicing to be done to ensure that computer servers are running and working reliably. At industry level, there is the sharing of best practices and the identification of challenges. Operators are comparing notes and sharing information on procedures to limiting the spread of infection as well as decontamination routes.
Furthermore, as data centres are supporting remote work for the protection of their employees, the key priority is the balance of staff safety and availability. The emphasis is to implement stringent guidelines and
upgraded security measures. Operators are also working closely with suppliers and customers to make sure that SLAs (Service Level Agreements) continue to be met, to ensure that any needs can be met as well as exploring new potential scenarios. Data centres with multiple sites are putting in place precautionary measures such as no movement of staff between shifts as well as no staff movement between sites as well as no contact handovers.
And what are data centre future planning methods?
Operators are most certainly planning post-contamination cleaning procedures, to ensure precautionary measures. The will accommodate guidance from large health institutions. Furthermore, an increase in specialist cleaning services will be maintained for continue good deep cleaning habits inside the data centre.
In the big picture, it is very important that management are actively involved in the execution of all plans and able to shift tactics as circumstances change.