Data centers need to continue working no matter what, even during times of crisis like we are currently experiencing. Data centers make our modern world work and are critical for everyone, especially for companies that now work remotely. Those reasons are part of why the Quebec Government has classified data centers as an essential service.
To make sure your company can maintain its data center operations live during these unforeseen events, here are our 6 tips to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on your IT team and data centers.
Apply best health practices
It goes without saying that you should apply the practices that all health professionals have been recommending for the last two weeks. Wash your hands, don’t go out if you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone that has symptoms, etc. We won’t repeat what has already been said hundreds of times. Even the best data center specific tips won’t be helpful if you don’t apply the basic health recommendations.
Reduce data center visits
By reducing the amount of data center visits you do and their length is the best thing you can do. If the visit is not critical, don’t go.
We know how data center ops like to have hands-on with the gear, but it’s not the time for that if you can avoid it.
Notify your data center provider of your visit
In the case that you really have to visit the data center, notify your colocation provider or your security office that you will be around. From a colocation data center provider perspective, it’s really great to have a heads-up of who will be in the data center at what times to be able to limit the number of people within the facility. Fewer people in a confined space is better.
Use remote hands when possible
Most colocation providers will have 24/7 remote hands services that allow you to have their data center technicians to complete basic tasks within your racks. We know that you don’t like letting a third party touch your hardware and many have had bad experiences with the quality of work that remote hands services have provided in the past, but considering the current situation, the overall impact of using remote hands services compared to going to the data center is much less harmful.
Install an out of band management network
An out of band management network is a parallel network to your production network that only serves IPMI and management purposes. Even if your main network is down, your OOBM infrastructure will allow you to remote into your infrastructure and troubleshoot the problem. To have an OOBM infrastructure is a great practice, but if you don’t already have one, it’s time to have one deployed. The number of trips to the data center you will save with a management infrastructure is insane.
Unless your infrastructure is getting drowned under the extra load of remote workers, postpone all upgrades and interventions that are not critical to your data center. Installing new gear involves a huge amount of human interaction. From shipping on the provider side to transportation by the shipping company and the reception/installation in the data center, the more transactions your interventions create, the worse the situation will become.
Need help with your data center during this outbreak? Contact-us.