Durham Cloud Data Center: Disaster Resiliency


The EMC IT Durham Cloud Data Center survived its first major run in with Mother Nature.  On Saturday April 16th at least 25 tornados touched down across North Carolina making it the state’s most active tornado season on record.  A tornado that traveled 63 miles through Sanford, Holly Springs and Raleigh had top winds of 160 miles per hour and caused major damage.  I am happy to report that the Durham Cloud Data Center’s redundant infrastructure worked flawlessly and more importantly none of our EMC employee’s were hurt or affected by the storm.

The map shows the tracks of many of the tornados and the Durham Cloud Data Center was in the middle of all the activity.

The data center did experience a power outage but the new Flywheel UPS infrastructure and the generators kicked in (within 10 seconds of power loss) and provided uninterrupted power throughout the event.

One of the two redundant 10G network connections were also affected for over 17 hours, but as designed the connectivity failed over to the secondary path and none of the IT equipment or applications were affected.  Within the next several months two additional 10G connections will be brought on line to double both the capacity and overall redundancy.

Throughout the design, build and commissioning process you try to simulate worst case scenario’s and plan for how the infrastructure will respond to those types of events – so when  the real disaster  happens (and Murphy’s Law says it always will) it is great to see the systems perform as planned.  One can only hope that the investments in redundant systems and fault tolerant design can stand the test of time.

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