We Must Protect This House (Against Disaster)

We Must Protect This House (Against Disaster)

We protect your stuff. It’s an essential part of the job at Equinix. It’s why we always talk about mantraps, and biometric readers, and the different security layers between our customers computing equipment and the outside world. We want customers to know we keep the people they don’t want near their equipment away from it.

But we’re not just about protecting our customers from the worst in human nature. We also protect them against the worst of Mother Nature – things like earthquakes, fires and floods.

Now, if that trio of disasters was to strike globally all at once, we could be looking at the End of Days, when data center security might tumble down the list of priorities. But if they happen over the course of a year in different parts of world, we’re just talking about normal life, and Equinix makes sure our 100 global data centers are ready for the worst of it.

Each one of our data centers is built to meet or exceed local structural building requirements for withstanding movements caused by an earthquake. Where earthquakes are more likely, the building codes are obviously stricter. In Japan, for instance, our new facility in Osaka was built to handle the maximum movement anticipated during a large earthquake by following the most sophisticated seismic resistant guidelines available. In all Equinix data centers, equipment and nonstructural components, such as cabinets, are anchored and braced.

Flooding can accompany earthquakes, but Equinix is prepared for it, regardless of its cause. All International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers are built above sea level and none of them have basements. Each data center also has numerous measures to minimize equipment damage in event of a flood, including moisture barriers on exterior walls, moisture detection sensors and dedicated pump rooms. Each also has tightly sealed conduits and drainage/evacuation systems.

The fire detection and suppressions systems at Equinix data centers are state-of-the-art. Ceiling-mounted smoke “sniffers” are located throughout the facilities, and air samples are regularly measured for smoke by a Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) system. Our fire suppression systems work to put out fire only where the fire is located, to avoid damaging equipment that’s not threatened. We use dry pipe fire suppression, which means there’s no water in the pipes until it’s needed to put out the fire. We think water is superior to using the firefighting chemical compound Halon, because water Is less damaging to technology and Halon can destroy circuit cards.

Hollywood likes making movies about disasters, but there’s nothing trivial about being in one. We’re doing all we can at Equinix to ensure our customers’ equipment is protected when they occur.