Lessons From Hurricane Sandy: Datacenter Location Matters

October 30, 2012
Salt Lake City, UT

There have been a lot of great posts about the important questions you should be asking your vendor before doing business with them, and here is another. The cloud space is increasingly crowded and new companies are popping up every day – this makes your job as a business owner, attorney, financial advisor, or IT professional very difficult as you sift through the "cloud washing" and fluff to find the vendors who have appropriately invested in the right security, privacy, compliance, and redundancy measures.

Hurricane Sandy brought an incredible amount of destruction and chaos to the East Coast; our thoughts are certainly with the people there as they rebuild and recover from the devastation. Sandy not only ripped through homes and businesses, but it affected many cloud datacenters as well, Peer1, ConEd, and Datagram, to name a few. Those names may not ring a bell, but some of these datacenters' clients, like WordPress (which powers the blog you're reading now) and Gawker.com, might be familiar to you. Both were forced to shut down after the power outage and backup generators were only able to run for a couple of days. An outage like this disrupts the end-users' ability to access the software via the Internet and continue their work in the cloud, so yes, datacenter location matters!

There's no doubt all, or at least the vast majority of data centers are built with redundancy of power and back-up in mind, but the location of the datacenter your cloud vendor chooses is a decision that can potentially have an enormous impact on your business in a situation like Hurricane Sandy. Many vendors simply choose locations based on low cost or convenience, without addressing the inherent liability of high-risk zones for natural disasters.

In working with some of largest and most prestigious law firms and financial institutions, NetDocuments has learned over the 12+ years of doing business that natural disasters are a very real risk and not something to be taken lightly. NetDocuments has two fully redundant data centers in the "extremely low risk" states of Arizona and Utah. The primary datacenter in Arizona is owned and maintained by Lexis Nexis, and the disaster recovery datacenter in Utah is managed by ZIONS Bank. Find out more about what we're doing to set and keep the standard for cloud computing extremely high. Or hear from the firms who have switched to the cloud with NetDocuments.