Earthquakes and the Modern Data Center

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Build on Bedrock

With both the 1906 and 1989 San Francisco earthquakes, the same neighborhoods experienced heavier damages than others. This was due to the ground below, with more extreme structural damage impacting buildings on man-made landfill. Because landfill contains a high percentage of groundwater, it has the consistency of soft mud and allows the ground to move more drastically than bedrock, which is solid rock underlying loose deposits of soil. Ensuring data center facilities are built on bedrock versus man-made landfills is critical to reducing the impact of seismic activity. 

In 1989, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake hit northern California; it was responsible for dozens of deaths and thousands of injuries, in addition to hurting the local economy with high infrastructural damages and lengthy downtimes for businesses. This past October marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the Bay Area's recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake is a stark reminder of the threat of another major quake on the horizon.

Since the event in 1989, people and businesses located along the San Andreas Fault have taken precautions to lessen the impact of seismic activity out of concern for safety and security. When considering where businesses should locate their data centers, risk of natural disaster, as well as the potential impact of associated damage, must be of prime consideration.

For those located along the San Andreas Fault, the primary concerns are earthquakes and, to a lesser extent, tsunamis. As a leading global data center provider with facilities located close to the San Andreas Fault, Digital Realty has highlighted six key elements data center facilities should implement to maximize employee safety and reduce the risk of downtime for businesses during seismic activity. 


Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

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