A new white paper from global data center supplier, Schneider Electric – a specialist in energy management and automation, describes how good preparation and process can “quickly and safely” mitigate the impact of emergencies, and help prevent them from recurring.
The Schneider Electric white paper – #217, entitled: ‘How to Prepare and Respond to Data Center Emergencies,’ describes a framework for an effective strategy arranged across three categories: Emergency Response Procedures, Emergency Drills and Incident Management.
White Paper 217 would discuss each of the categories in detail and offer proactive considerations for data center management during the planning stage. Emergency Response Procedures include:
- Operational measures – to deploy in the event of a crisis that safely isolate faults and restore service.
- A crisis management plan (CMP) – which is a detailed step-by-step procedure to follow when emergency strikes.
- Escalation Procedures – which are documented, prioritized contact lists outlining internal contact requirements for specific situations related to data center operations.
- Emergency Drills – which should be developed in advance and scheduled to occur regularly, guide operators through what should be done to counter the top 10 identifiable operational risks.
Incident Management described in this white paper includes:
- Incident notification – a process to inform the appropriate people about any safety of mission-critical event.
- Incident identification and reporting – ensures that all incidents are reported as soon as the situation is stabilized and a brief summary of the incident prepared for circulation to appropriate staff.
- Failure analysis – which is a comprehensive program to determine the root cause of any incident that has resulted in system downtime or personal injury, or had the likelihood of doing so.
Communication and speed of response to emergency situations can greatly reduce the risk to operations caused by incidents. The white paper’s recommendations focus strongly on the need for preparedness to anticipate problems before they arise, take appropriate speedy action when they do and communicate the lessons learned from each incident so that the worst effects are not repeated.
To effectively respond to different kinds of risks and crises in data centers, organizations must act quickly and know what to expect in unexpected situation. Proper operational methodology would avoid common mistakes and a good Emergency Preparedness plan, encompassing people processes and systems, would help operators run their facilities in a more predictable and effective way.