Data centres face shut down in Japan

Data centres in Japan are facing shut downs and companies need to do everything in their power to make sure they stay working. The problem is, as we reported earlier today, there is little power to share about.

Talking about business in Japan, Nissan’s senior vice president and executive committee member, Dr. Andy Palmer, told Radio 4’s Today programme  that there’s a “need to shut down all of the data centres in a controlled way.” His warnings come as a controlled series of blackouts run through Japan in a bid to manage the fall in power generation capacity caused by Friday’s tragedy.

Similarly,  Equinix Japan claims it has concerns about the power supply from Tokyo Electric Power Company and is taking measures to protect itself.

Kei Furuta, managing director, Equinix Japan, told TechEye: “We have fuelled the generators at our Tokyo data centres to their full capacity, which will provide emergency backup power in the event of any power disruption.  We can keep our Tokyo data centres up and running as normal.”

He said its local operations team in Japan and its Asia Pacific Network Operations Centre (APNOC) were closely monitoring the situation and will continue to provide services to customers. 

Intel told TechEye: “We’re not in a position to speak on behalf of other organisations. Our operations were largely unaffected. All our employees are safe.

“I would suggest that an incident like this serves as a reminder of the need for both disaster recovery and business continuity strategies.”

Others remain confident that the sector will be unscathed. After the quake hit on Friday Datacentre Dynamics received correspondence from companies in Japan.

One was from research firm Nomura Research Institute where Dr Takao Shiino and senior technical engineer Tom Misaki said although they had also experienced problems with landline communications, their data centre had so far held up.

However, an aftershock has just struck the east of Japan, and reports are surfacing that it has shaken buildings in Tokyo.

Ambrose McNevin, content director and editor in chief at DatacenterDynamicsFOCUS, told TechEye that so far, the sector had been “relatively unscathed”.

“There are reports of broken undersea communication cables which will undoubtedly affect telecoms backbones and data centre communications operations,” he said.

“In terms of power loss, Tokyo data centres appear to have operated continuously thanks to standard critical facility back up infrastructure based on battery backed UPS and diesel generators with no reports yet of any major outages.”

Meanwhile Google has launched a page tracking the tragedy across several topics. Because of cloud computing, it is unclear what data is where in the world.