Last week, I had an opportunity to visit a data center.  For those who are not familiar with what a data center is, it’s a large facility that is used to house servers and equipment that companies rely on to keep their operations running.  Interlinked data centers are what make “cloud” computing, the Internet and hosted services possible.  To actually see what a data center looks like, you can check out Google’s.

Arriving at the Data Center

After we found the place, we had to go through security before meeting our “guide” who would show us around the center.  During our visit, we also got to check out the actual floor where all the servers are kept.  There were rows and rows of neatly spaced-apart cabinets to house all of the server units.  Conduits were suspended above these cabinets to carry all of the data cabling. Directly outside of this huge room, the on-call technician had a clear view of the place through the large windows.

Huge generators = awesome!

I have to say, this place seemed prepared for any possible situation –they had redundant…well, everything! Their power backup system especially caught my attention.  They had a huge room filled with uninterruptable power supply units (essentially, giant batteries that can keep everything running long enough for the generators to kick in).  Being a hobbyist gear-head, it’s no surprise that when we got to the first generator room, I became entranced by the huge 16-cylinder Cummins diesel engine that would run it in the event of a power outage.


My visit to the data center was a salient reminder that so many of our day-to-day activities require steadfast communications.  It’s therefore incredibly important for your business’ VoIP provider to, not only use a reliable data center, but to have redundant data centers as well.  As a customer, you certainly shouldn’t have to worry about how well prepared your provider is to keep your business up and running –even through extreme emergencies.  If your hosted VoIP provider is prepared, they’ll have chosen their data centers carefully and they’ll have more than one.  This kind of preparation is why we were able to keep all of our customer’s service up and running during Hurricane Sandy.

Share your story: When hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast in 2012, were your business’ communications interrupted?  If so, how did you cope with this?