What Level of Reliability Exists in Your Municipality’s Data Center?

Today all organizations, especially local, state and federal government agencies expect 24/7 availability of data center services. Even the shortest amount of downtime can cripple an operation. To reduce this risk, municipalities need to ensure their data center power infrastructure can ensure continuous operation.

However, investing in the power infrastructure necessary to maintain the highest performance levels often exceeds the budget of a local government. With these constraints, how are you going to maintain seamless communications, always available data and ongoing service delivery?

The Critical Question

To determine if your municipality has the proper power infrastructure in place, you need to carefully analyze current and future requirements against existing capabilities. Answering the following question will help you strike the right balance between maintaining an always-on environment and creating cost efficiencies:

How long can your municipality afford to endure an outage – seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks?  Each department within a local government may have different thresholds. Answering this question will help determine the level of protection you need for your data center services.

How to Mitigate Power Outage Risk

To provide the highest level of power reliability, your data center requires the proper backup systems for those operations that can’t endure a long outage without crippling consequences. You can’t simply rely on UPS technology for continuous operations.

In the event of a power failure, your data center must house redundant systems to provide backup power. Systems such as UPS, battery banks and generators can respond to any primary system failure. These systems can replace utility power for extended time periods.

However, to address the expectation of an always-available environment, many municipalities are ill-equipped to provide the required level of redundancy in their on-premise data centers. In many scenarios, data center colocation can provide the highest levels of power reliability at a more affordable cost. Regular access to data center services, even during unexpected power outages, can make the difference in how well the municipal government serves the public.

Proven data center colocation providers offer fully redundant systems, proven operating processes and specialized on-site expertise to manage power outages. The right provider most likely can deal with a power outage faster and more cost-effectively than most local governments. Plus, they’re often better positioned to make the necessary financial investments in configuring and maintaining a reliable power infrastructure.

Criteria for Evaluating a Provider’s Power Capabilities

To ensure the most reliable operations from a power standpoint, municipalities should evaluate potential data center colocation providers on the following criteria:

  • Power Redundancy Systems – What systems are in place to ensure continuous access to data center power? Does the provider have UPS systems, battery banks and multiple generators on-site? Is fuel readily available?
  • Location – Is the facility located strategically for the municipality? The right location will provide as much protection as possible to natural disasters.
  • Physical Security – How protected is the actual facility? Are advanced security monitoring systems in place?  Does the facility incorporate advanced environmental controls, including fire suppression and flooding detection systems?
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) – Are the provider’s services backed by a robust uptime SLA?

Assess Your Local Government’s Data Center Risk

If you’d like to better understand your municipal government’s level of data center risk, take FairPoint Communications’ “Risk Assessment Questionnaire for Municipalitie.” By answering nine multiple-choice questions, you’ll gain helpful insight into your municipality’s risk exposure – high-, medium- or low-risk.

FairPoint Communications’ data centers provide organizations with network connectivity and rack space in physically secure, reliable locations. Municipalities can use this space as primary or secondary data center sites. In addition, data center colocation space can also be employed as an essential part of a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy. FairPoint’s data centers are strictly controlled environments with essential power, cooling, connectivity and physical security features.

For data center colocation services that address your municipal government’s requirements, call FairPoint Communications (1.866.984.4001) or visit www.FairPoint.com/businessclassdatacenter.

Vice President Karen Romano is Vice President, Government and Education at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.