Facility Issues

The facilities meant to shelter us and accommodate an increasingly complex data infrastructure are aging. The need to upgrade those facilities (despite tight budgets) is a key challenge for 2010.

Greg Lahay of dRay Tech Inc. says some of the biggest problems facing IT managers today is a lack of raised floor (white) space. The age of the average facility, too, is a factor.

“Today the average disaster recovery facility/data center is 12 to 15 years old,” he says. “These facilities are reaching end of life and aren’t designed to meet today’s or tomorrow’s power demands.” He adds that in 2010, electricity use will be as much as 76% higher than in 2005 for disaster recovery facility/data centers. He cites a recent survey that says 64% of disaster recovery facility/data centers will run out of power within the next three years.

One trend in the industry seems to be an increased need for temporary structures. Beth B. Wilson, Marketing Manager of Mahaffey Fabric Structures says that regardless of the nature of the disaster, adequate shelter is key to survival in an emergency. “That said, there seems to be an increased need for temporary facilities, be it housing, turnkey base camps, or business continuity,” she says.

“We have seen a bigger push for preparedness from the local, state and Federal governments to become more prepared for all types of disasters and acts of terrorism,” says Mickey Spooner, Vice President of Allstate Office Interiors, Inc. The company is evolving with the time by making its products modular and flexible so they can be used at multiple locations and be stored with electrical and data pre-installed to reduce downtime.

In an uncertain economic climate, Spooner advises anyone trying to justify a disaster preparedness expense to do their homework. “Look at the newest products and don’t assume that because they look expensive they are. Always ask a lot of questions.”