Expedient’s Operations Support Center issued notice to its customers early Tuesday morning October 30th that all of its East Coast Data Centers were back on commercial power sources and normal operating conditions would resume. The confirmation was issued following continuous notice of emergency preparations and testing, which began late last week, when the storm was first forecasted. All six (6) of the Expedient Data Centers affected were able to successfully weather super storm Sandy, without any service interruptions. While these emergency operating conditions are infrequent, Expedient accepts the responsibility to take additional actions to ensure the safety and continued availability of their customer’s critical data. “Our customers depend on us to keep them up 100% of the time and we are pleased that our facilities, our employees and our third party resources were able to deliver in this instance,” said Bryan Smith, Regional Vice President of Expedient.
Measures that Expedient typically takes in emergency conditions include:
- Additional inspection of all systems and accelerated implementation of all near term, scheduled maintenance activities.
- Extra staff and in-house electricians are located onsite, at each facility before, during and immediately following emergency conditions.
- Coordination activities with key, third party vendors such as Liebert, Caterpillar and diesel fuel suppliers to pre-stage expertise and materials at each data center in case of emergency need and limit response time.
- Additional staff is brought in from non-storm-impacted markets to be available in case the local staff needs to be relieved to attend to their own families.
- Hourly inspections of all critical systems during the storm with regular communications sent to customers to keep them informed of data center status.
The six (6) Data Centers that operated under emergency conditions during super storm Sandy are located in Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland (2) and Pittsburgh (2). In Baltimore, over 300,000 homes and businesses lost power during the storm but Expedient’s Tide Point Data Center saw no power, cooling or communication service interruption. The Baltimore facility remained on commercial power the entire time. In Boston, where over 500,000 people lost power, Expedient proactively switched to emergency power via their three 2.2MW generators fueled by their 30,000 gallon diesel reserves. The facility was restored back to commercial power and normal operations 12 hours after the storm ended with no customer impact.
Two other markets, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, that were not directly in the hurricane’s path, but suffered many of the effects including high winds, intense rain storms and even some snow, remained on commercial power with 100% uptime and were not impacted. Cleveland experienced over 260,000 residents without power and other key buildings in the area suffered significant storm damage. In many communities, in-house company data closets and data centers suffered significant problems in the midst of this storm.
“Our number one goal is to ensure that everyone is kept safe and our customer’s mission critical data is accessible at all times of the day, no matter what nature brings. By investing tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and then operating to stay up during times of crisis, Expedient ably serves as the infrastructural and services foundation for many company’s Disaster Recovery plans. For us, this difficult event certainly reinforces the importance of a solid disaster recovery plan that incorporates geographic diversity,” said Smith.