The UK has just voted to leave the European Union, the British pound has lost more than 10 percent of its value, the Prime Minister has resigned and the political system over here is teetering on the brink of collapse. There’s nothing but bad news on TV, and the future is uncertain.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, it looks increasingly likely that Donald Trump will become the next American President. We have religious fanatics rampaging across the Middle East, Russians realizing their imperial ambitions, and research showing that some cancers might be infectious.
Revist your doomsday survival plan
So what’s coming next – aliens, zombies, total nuclear annihilation? In times like these, it’s important to revisit your doomsday survival plan, and here we finally have a reason to be optimistic: you will struggle to find a better place to wait out the apocalypse than a data center.
Just think about it: a typical server farm – let’s talk retail colocation here – includes diesel generators, banks of batteries and thousands of liters of fuel – more than enough to keep a small group of engineers supplied with electricity for years to come. A reliable water source will help stave off dysentery, while the cooling equipment will filter out the radioactive ashes of civilization and keep the residents warm when the nuclear winter comes.
Data centers have countless physical security features, including fences, mantraps, biometric locks and wall-to-wall CCTV coverage. Although these were added to the building primarily to impress potential customers, they are more than capable of stopping hordes of looters, mutants or the living dead. Massive bonus points if your data center is located in an actual military bunker – you shall inherit the earth.
In this brave new world, office spaces previously reserved for hotdesking in the event of a disaster can be filled with bunk beds constructed from racks and cabinets. We’ll use Ethernet cables instead of ropes, and forge rudimentary weapons out of heatsinks.
Staff kitchens will still serve their primary purpose, and squirrels – those dreadful enemies of data centers, estimated to cause up to 17 percent of outages – will finally get on the menu.
There’s just one issue we won’t be able to fix: repopulating the planet. According to the Women’s Engineering Society, just nine percent of the engineering workforce in the UK is female.
As an industry, we should all do our best to recruit more girls – the future of the human race could depend on it.
This article appeared in the July/August issue of DatacenterDynamics magazine.