Earthquakes and the Modern Data Center

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Implement a Base-Isolation System

Base isolation, often referred to as "seismic isolation," is a design technique to protect a building's structural system from damage during an earthquake. Base isolation is not intended to make a building "earthquake proof" but to allow the building to survive an earthquake with minimal damage and remain structurally safe for its inhabitants. Conceptually, base isolation allows inertia to play its role: An isolated building tends to stay "at rest" while the earth and foundation move beneath the building. A friction-pendulum-bearing base-isolation system is designed to keep building occupants and critical electrical and mechanical systems resilient to violent ground motions that can accompany an earthquake.

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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