Data centre uptime: Crestchic Loadbanks, a leading supplier of load testing equipment based in the UK, has reported strong growth so far this year, with a significant amount of business coming from the growing data centre market. As the world reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that there is increased pressure for data centres to be immune to the risks of downtime, with load bank testing playing a vital role in any future resilience strategy.

Paul Brickman, Sales and Marketing Director at Crestchic Loadbanks, explains, “The events of recent weeks have demonstrated that the ability to operate, secure and recover systems is critical to the global economy. With social isolation a key tactic in the fight against COVID-19, people are increasingly reliant on digital communications, whether because they are working from home, keeping in touch with family, spending time on social networking sites or turning to online shopping in a bid to fill their cupboards. Data centres are playing a vital role in this crisis – supporting mission critical business and social activities but also allowing governments and health professionals to store and share data which could play an important role in fighting the spread.”

The critical role of data centre uptime has been highlighted by industry giants lobbying the government to explicitly mention data centres in the list of key worker professions. While business continuity strategies during the crisis have inevitably focused on limiting infection and ensuring continuity of service, the longer-term ramifications of the pandemic will undoubtedly change the shape of continuity planning in the future.

Paul continues, “A continuous focus on efficiency and reliability means that preparedness is in the data centre industry’s DNA. Most have very robust strategies in place to deal with power blackouts. Most are already wise to the importance of testing power supplies to avoid downtime and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are universally accepted as a piece of critical business infrastructure. This is evident in our own order books – in the last month alone we’ve seen huge orders for a major new data centre in Jakarta and a data telecommunications centre in Paris.

“However, when power is mission-critical, testing back-up power systems can make all the difference to whether they operate effectively when called upon. When operating on skeleton staff, having the confidence that back-up power will work if required is even more important. While non-essential testing will undoubtedly be on hold for the time being, we expect to see an upsurge in testing when we emerge from this crisis and anticipate that regular preventive maintenance will become increasingly prevalent in the future.”

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