Half Of Company Data Centres Suffer From Natural Disasters

In the last 10 years, 50 percent asked had experienced disruption to their data centre due to seismic activity or other natural disasters

Research indicates that one in two organisations are not operating a data centre environment that could withstand or continue to operate after a natural disaster.

This lack of perceived preparedness is in spite of 45 percent of research respondents stating that their data centre is flood resistant, 43 percent confirming their facilities are earthquake resistant and 60 percent declaring their data centre is located in an area away from physical or environmental hazards.

The report – Managing Growth, Risk and the Cloud – was commissioned by data centre hosting firm Zenium Technology Partners, and found that in the last ten years, one in two companies questioned had experienced disruption to their data centre operation due to seismic activity or other natural disasters.

DisasterOn average, respondents experienced five such incidents in total, which amounts to one every other year. Unsurprisingly, of the territories included in the survey, Turkey has experienced the greatest number of incidents (65 percent) but the report also pointed to high figures in the UK at 45 percent and Germany at 39 percent.

Of those that have experienced disruptions, 91 percent incurred expense to the business each time, with the maximum cited at £500,000. Surprisingly, 34 percent of CIO/VP/director-level respondents did not know what the “exact” cost was, and were only able to say that “some” loss was incurred.

Perhaps more shocking is that twice as many of those that outsource data centre operations – 58 percent – have experienced disruption caused by a natural disaster in the last ten years, compared with those that do not outsource (25 percent).

“I’m astounded by these figures but this could well be because companies have not chosen well when it comes to the data centre operator they selected as an outsourcing partner,” said Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO of Zenium Technology Partners. “Natural disasters are rightly top of the data centre business agenda and I believe that outsourcing continues to offer a viable risk-reduction strategy.”

He said: “Discussions around scalability, connectivity and cost are of course important when selecting an outsourcing partner but this research demonstrates quite clearly that the location of the data centre should not be underestimated.”

Interestingly, 64 percent of those that already outsource some data centre operations are considering outsourcing more to further reduce exposure to natural disasters, and 36 percent of those that do not outsource are also considering taking this same route.

The report found that 83 percent of respondents believe they will have to lease more data centre space from domestic providers as a result of the EU Data Protection Directive.

The survey was conducted by Dynamic Markets and a total of 301 interviews were collected in the UK, Germany and Turkey with senior IT professionals across a wide variety of industry sectors, at large organisations with 250 or more employees.