Minimal damage to ICT infrastructure from Sydney’s record dust storm reflects the massive improvements being made in resilience and architecture design, several providers claim.
Telarus managing director, Jules Rumsey, said it experienced no damage or downtime at any of its Sydney IT platforms, which include wireless technology, underground cable networks and a datacentre. While there are numerous environmental hazards in Australia, IT infrastructure is now built with the conditions in mind, he said.
“Potential threats to IT infrastructure include cyclones – or high wind and rain, lightning, heavy hail and for copper cabling, damp weather in general. Still, there’s a lot of fault tolerance built in these days,” Rumsey said.
“There are a lot more fibre paths available now – for a while options were limited, but now an organisation would need to lose both the initial path and a backup – and often organisations will have more fault tolerance measures.”
No dust from the storm got into the datacentre that Telarus uses, Rumsey said.
“The guys there tend to be conservative with anything they see as a potential threat,” he said. “A datacentre mantrap means it is difficult for dust to get from the outside through to the equipment.”
The facility owned by datacentre provider, Global Switch, also suffered no adverse affects from the dust. Sales and marketing director, Mitchell Chapman, said staff ramped up efforts to monitor the equipment through the day, but no significant additional action was needed.
“To make sure there was no intake of dust, we would clean out and mop the foyer areas on a more regular basis, and we asked our security staff to monitor entry points for additional dust,” Chapman said. “I don’t think dust will ever be a problem for higher-grade datacentre facilities – these buildings have been carefully engineered to cater for these kinds of conditions.”