The Stack Archive News Article

Houston data centres remain operational despite Hurricane Harvey

Tue 29 Aug 2017

Data centres in Houston remain operational despite severe flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey has caused flooding thanks to 25 inches of rainfall but data centres in the Texas city have demonstrated resilience and remained operational throughout the extreme weather conditions.

Data centres owned by Equinix, CyrusOne, Data Foundry, and Digital Realty Trust have all confirmed their continued operation.

However, though the companies have managed to keep their data centres operational across the weekend of heavy rain, there may be further complications throughout the week. Access roads to some of the centres have flooded, meaning that supplies such as fuel may be difficult to get to the sites.

Speaking to Data Centre Knowledge, Equinix confirmed that there had been no interruption in their service. Acquired from Verizon earlier this year, the company’s Houston data centre remains “open and staffed”, but inaccessible to customers thanks to flooded access roads.

The situation continues to be monitored by staff at the facility, and an Equinix spokesperson said all of its customers had been contacted in order to keep them updated on the status of the data centre. It is also working on disaster-recovery plans for customers, due to the unpredictable nature of the event. According to the spokesperson, Equinix staff in the area are all safe.

Data Foundry, based in Austin, has fared well. Neither of its Houston data centres lost power, and neither of the facilities were reached by floodwater, according to a company spokesperson, who said: “We have not had to fail over to generator power. Our underground fuel tanks remain full.” The site is also able to receive fuel deliveries if needed.

CyrusOne CTO, Kevin Timmons, said in an emailed statement: “In all Texas data centres, the CyrusOne emergency management and response plan was activated on Friday morning and remains in effect.” Timmons also praised the company’s staff for their work following the flooding, particularly those who have been away from their families.

The company is also looking to contribute to the relief effort once they have ensured they can remain operational, saying: “We plan to make a substantial commitment to helping people in Southeast Texas get back on their feet in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”

Telecommunications companies have also said that they have managed to remain operational, and will waive some or all costs for those in the area.

Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical storm for now, but is expected to increase in intensity later in the week. Reports have stated that nine people have been killed, and has caused thousands to seek shelter.


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