Jan 27, 2017 Jason Kiser - Vice President of Operations

Choosing a Data Center Location or your Disaster Recovery Backup


Selecting the right backup location for your primary data center is a critical component of every disaster recovery plan.  If you pick a location that is too close, your backup might be subjected to the same disaster that impacts your primary data center.  Choose a site that is too far away, and you are faced with a different set of challenges.  


How to select your backup location:  

Risk of natural disasters
There are several different organizations that rate and publish the risk of natural disasters for cities around the country.  While these indexes are intriguing, there is far more to consider than simply selecting the metro with the lowest rating. If your primary data center is in a metro area that is at higher risk for hurricanes, such as the southeast coast, consider selecting a backup data center in a metro area that has little or no risk of hurricane related storm surges or damaging winds.  

Mitigate your Risk by Using Multiple Power Grids
You will want to make sure that your primary and backup data centers use separate power grids to guarantee continuous power.   If the power grid for your primary data center goes down, you can rest easy that your backup center won’t be impacted.  

Distance from your Primary Data Center
While you want to ensure your backup data center is far enough away to avoid the impact of the same disaster that hits your primary data center, there are considerations associated with having your backup too far away.  You’ll want to balance the power grids, the natural disaster risks, and the distance from your primary data center carefully.

Your staff will need to travel to the backup site for set up and other reasons so keeping it within driving distance is desirable so they can be onsite promptly without depending on airline travel.  While you may be tempted to keep your back up on the other side of the country, selecting a backup site that is too far away from your primary data center will increase latency, which could contribute to reduced productivity and access to real time data.  

Choice of Connectivity Options
Choosing a backup data center location with a variety of carrier options and density is critical to a sound disaster recovery plan.  You’ll want to consider the carrier network, bandwidth, and other services offered to select the best fit for your organization.  A good carrier neutral data center can provide you with many options, in addition to providers who offer full disaster recovery services.  

Remote Hands Services
Remote hands services, or technicians that are onsite at your backup data center, make managing your systems from a remote location seamless.  They are trained to help with everything from power cycling equipment, swapping backup tapes, to hardware and software installations.  365 Data Centers’ remote hands services are available on an ad-hoc basis or under various service plans.  

24x7x365 Service and Support
No matter what the time of day, make sure you can get the help you need at a moments notice.  Natural disasters don’t keep regular business hours so make sure that your backup data center has staff available to help you 24x7x365.  

It is important to ensure that your backup data center has the ability to scale to meet your growing business needs.  Some providers may not be able to guarantee they can provide the space you might need as you expand.  If you are a content or cloud provider, you might consider leveraging a colocation provider like 365 Data Centers, with multiple locations across the country, to make expanding into new metros easier.