Data Centre Competitors Swap Notes To Battle COVID-19 Pressures Collectively

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As infection rates of Covid-19 increase, the virus has implications for business continuity across the entire economy including data centres, and techUK highlights the pivotal role the sector has to play in the pandemic.

According to techUK, the spread of COVID-19 means that the demand for digital communications, and therefore for the data centre services that underpin them, is rising sharply.

The “social distancing” measures governments and companies have been taking in their attempts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus have increased the amount of traffic on networks around the world.

As COVID-19 continues to put pressure on data centres to operate, techUK has been running weekly calls to share best practice and identify challenges the sector is facing.

Operators have been comparing notes on how they are identifying and managing COVID-19 risks and on the precautions they are putting in place.

Competitors are working together to share information on procedures to limit infection, on quarantine, on decontamination routines, on HR and supply chain issues, on security of utility supplies and other operational matters, according to techUK.

“At operator level, the key priority is to balance staff safety with availability,” said Emma Fryer, Associate Director, techUK and Lucas Banach, Programme Assistant, in a written statement.

“So the emphasis is currently on limiting routes for infection whilst ensuring that facilities remain adequately staffed.

“Precautions reflect the location and distribution of sites, the footfall to those sites, and individual site characteristics.

“All operators have implemented new guidelines and upgraded security controls. Intracompany communications have been stepped up with the usual reporting lines shortened or removed.

“Operators are working closely with suppliers and with customers to ensure that SLAs (service level agreements) continue to be met, to ensure that critical spares can be obtained and to explore potential scenarios.”

At an operational level, data centres, especially those with multiple sites, were quick to implement precautions like shift segregation with no movement of personnel between shifts and no-contact handovers, according to techUK.

Operators are planning post-contamination cleaning procedures, irrespective of whether these will be needed.