A recent study by the Uptime Institute reported about 30% of all surveyed data centers experience a significant outage each year. “Data center owners and operators know that on-premises power failures continue to cause the most outages (33%), with network and connectivity issues close behind (31%).” Though power and connectivity problems often are the cause of an outage, the Uptime Institute survey indicates about 70% of data center outages are precipitated by human error.
This got us thinking. What is so different at CAPS? We have not had an unscheduled loss of power at our secure SSAE 2018 data center in over twenty years. This includes during Super Storm Sandy and several other major storms. Why is our performance so much better than the industry as a whole?
Sure, our data center includes redundant UPS and redundant diesel generators. The UPS systems provide power immediately if primary power is interrupted. Our generators spring into action 8 to 12 seconds after the UPS systems are activated and operate continuously for at least 72 hours without refueling. CAPS has established high priority status with its fuel suppliers. We have a guaranteed 4 hour delivery contract so we can run our generators indefinitely if required. We also automatically test our generators every week.
Clients also benefit from the outstanding record of service from United illuminating which provides power to the data center. UI has consistently performed well over many years through many different hurricanes and winter storms.
CAPS’ Carrier Neutral facility also provides automatic failover from primary to secondary internet carrier circuits via Border Gateway Protocol to pre-empt connectivity problems.
Though CAPS’ power, environmental, and networking systems are extremely fault tolerant, the same is true at many other enterprise class data centers. So what else is at play?
The difference may be in our people and procedures. The CAPS data center team is comprised of seasoned professionals who have worked together for years. Procedures developed and refined over the past two decades contribute to CAPS’ stellar record. Our engineers continuously monitor critical data center systems and are proactive whenever they receive notification of a possible problem. Our team all live in close proximity to our data center. Alerts are sent immediately via email and text messages to make sure the status of all vital systems is known at any time of the day or night.
CAPS also benefits from the support it receives from its sister company – Blue Hill Data Services. The professionals manning the Network Operations Center 24/7/365 at Blue Hill also monitor CAPS’ systems. This provides an additional layer of monitoring and a second pair of eyes to make sure everything is operating properly. Blue Hill also contributes the expertise of its networking and security professionals.
Finally, credit must be given to the service contractors who perform regularly scheduled preventative maintenance to insure operability of the critical equipment at the CAPS data center. CAPS has long term relationships with these providers. They understand our requirements and are very responsive in helping solve problems before they impact service. An inventory of critical spare components is stored at CAPS to facilitate and expedite repairs when necessary.
To perform well above industry norms requires a dedicated team with proper training, thoughtfully conceived procedures, and a commitment to providing outstanding service and availability. CAPS is very proud of our remarkable record over the past 20 years and is dedicated to keeping the string of success going.