Now more than ever, data centres are central to the functioning of our economy and society as a whole. From remote working and distance learning to medical care and business transactions, data centres power vital functions necessary for individuals, families and communities to thrive and survive in today’s environment.
The teams operating these critical environments have been put to the test, forging ahead in the face of many challenges while meeting increased demand. Qualified as essential workforce, many data centre technicians and engineers have special dispensation to travel to and from work, even during stay at home orders.
It is no surprise that throughout the pandemic, aspects of data centre management and operations have changed. For example, our business has seen the following trends:
- Some non-essential maintenance, be it for the data centre plant or IT systems, has been deferred
- Many projects have been put on hold
- Staffing levels have been reduced and/or interaction between the teams have been restricted
- Access to white space and plant areas have been more tightly controlled, allowing essential visits only
- Many non-essential application and system software changes have been deferred
Some sites have made advanced plans to sequester in place with temporary accommodation and supplies ready, allowing them to shut the gates and remain on-site for prolonged periods of time, isolating from the rest of the world.
Considerations have been made about how to de-contaminate a data centre without damaging sensitive technology assets and even how to operate with no staff on-site.
As the world starts to function as the ‘new normal’ and businesses reopen and people return to work, the many changes we have experienced will continue to influence how we move forward.
COVID-19 Data Centre Protocols for the New Normal
is intended for data centre site leadership as they manage facilities, staff and suppliers in the coming months. Please contact CBRE Data Centre Solutions if your data centre management strategy needs assistance.