Traditional Bolting of Server Cabinets Does't Work for Earthquake Protection
While there have been major advancements in earthquake early warning systems, they only give you a few seconds to get ready for the coming quake. Buildings and homes will still be destroyed, and the early warning systems provide enough time for people to get to safety. These systems are still not common in the U.S. and Data center managers have to protect themselves and their facilities in case one strikes.
Seismic-rated cabinets and bracing can be very expensive. This has led many companies to move their data centers to areas that are less likely to have an earthquake. However, current latency issues have made the need for edge data centers much more prominent. So, when it is necessary to have a facility located in an earthquake zone, what can data center managers do to mitigate the damage caused by a seismic event?
When an earthquake strikes, server rack equipment has increased vulnerability to physical damage and data corruption. Most racks are designed to keep equipment safe while stationary, but what if the ground isn’t stationary?
A common solution to this problem has been to bolt this equipment to the floor. While this will provide the bare minimum level of protection for life safety of your employees, it is not ideal. Bolting the equipment transfers the shaking from the ground through the cabinet causing your mission critical equipment contained in your rack to sustain major damage. This rapid movement and vibration can permanently damage sensitive electronics and affect the data they contain.
Your employees may survive the shaking, but they won’t be happy when your facility isn’t fully operational for days, weeks, or even months after a major quake. If Southern California were to be hit by the Big One, southland data centers would suffer from serious supply chain issues. Will your company survive having a nonoperational data center?
ISO-Base™ platforms from WorkSafe Technologies offer a much more reliable solution than bolting. Using patented ball and cone technology, ISO-Base™ platforms are built to isolate your racks from the violent shaking caused by an earthquake. The company has been building these platforms for over 20 years and has passed many shake-table tests including Belcore Nebs GRC 63, and has had successful real-world tests in earthquakes such as Tohoku, Japan 2011 and in Christchurch, New Zealand 2016.