Canterbury datacentres functioning after quake

Jade, Datacom and Gen-i give updates on their facilities

Major data centres in Christchurch appear to be in reasonably good shape. No casualities have been reported.

Jade’s head of business continuity, David Lindsay, says the company has full grid power, and services have been “pretty uninterrupted”.

“Those staff who can have come in but we’re not asking them to come back till next week,” he says. “We pay all of them to have broadband at home, so they have VPN connectivity to work remotely.”

The company installed a larger diesel tank after the September 4 earthquake and has ample supply should generators be needed.

Computerworld understands plans for the Telecommunications Carriers Forum to move its number portability platform from Hewlett-Packard to Jade have been delayed because of the earthquake.

Datacom chief executive Greg Davidson says the company’s CBD data centre has kept running throughout but will be on back-up power for the foreseeable future.

“We’re shipping in a second generator.

“There was an initial scramble to find diesel but we managed to secure a mini tanker from one of our clients. There’s enough diesel in that to last us a week.”

He says there has been a lot of telecommunications disruption. “One of our suppliers (he wouldn’t say which one) has had major issues.”

Datacom NZ chief operating officer Steve Matheson told Computerworld Australia in an email that when the power failed, emergency generators took over and seismic bracing kicked in to prevent damage. “All service calls from customers are being handled by our support centre in Auckland,” he said. “There is some concern that the public data networks might start failing as uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) become drained over the next few hours. “To mitigate this risk, we are progressively moving our Cloud customers to other Datacom datacentres in New Zealand.” Matheson also said that none of the facility’s staff were injured and the central city building sustained only superficial damage.

“That said, there is a big clean-up operation ahead of us,” he said. “Our facility currently has no street power and the status of water and sewerage services is unknown. “At this point it is not clear if we will be able to reoccupy the building today or not.”

Revera, which owns the former Hewlett-Packard data centre at Addington, is on mains power and has experienced no outages.

A spokesman says the company is assembling a physical-to-virtual team to help clients and local businesses whose infrastructure has been disabled.

Gen-i has announced its ICT operations team is monitoring the Christchurch datacentre sites closely, with temperature and humidity levels reported to be stable. “Access to our site in Hereford Street in the city centre is restricted due to personal safety but we are working with clients to maintain services remotely,” said Gen-i Australasia chief executive Chris Quin, in a statement. “Fixed-line voice and data services remain stable and available. “Any issues are likely to be due to network disruption due to damage, which our field force teams, within clear safety parameters, are working with urgency to resolve.” Datacraft NZ, which is owned by Dimension Data, was contacted for comment but did not respond at the time of writing.

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