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Don’t Let Engineers Near Your Emergency “Off” Buttons … and Other Data Centre Disaster Lessons


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Computing recently surveyed 140 IT professionals to learn about the risks – both real and perceived – that can cause downtime and/or data loss in medium to large enterprise data centres. While the majority of organizations plan for disasters such as fire (75%), extreme weather (62%) and loss of access to the data centre (57%), many are unprepared for the random acts that can lead to downtime.

According to the EMC2 white paper (registration is required to view the white paper), survey respondents have dealt with everything from critters that chew through cables to bees nesting in the power supply of a critical server. “One respondent reported an incident where a cleaner disconnected a server in order to plug in a vacuum cleaner and another a bath left to run in a flat directly above the server room. A terrorist who tuned out to have sausages strapped to his body rather than a suicide vest caused real problems for another along with numerous freak accidents including an engineer who sat on the emergency off button.”

The white paper also contains a number of interesting statistics on how well IT professionals feel they can handle the unexpected.

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