Covid-19 is a pandemic. In situations such as this, mission critical facilities face particular challenges, due to both the risk of unavailability of key staff through illness or quarantine and other longterm impacts that might affect the ability of the operator to maintain continuous availability. Fortunately, preparedness is in the industry’s DNA; thanks to their focus on performance, efficiency and reliability — tested through prior experience with power blackouts, wildfire, adverse weather and other potentially disruptive events — most data centers owner/operators have contingency plans in place that can be adapted to the challenges of the current pandemic.

As the virus spreads, more organizations are moving from updating their response plans to implementing them. Each organization is different, and responses vary based on site environment, the number of Covid-19 cases in the area and government-mandated restrictions. One thing all companies hold in common, though, is their priorities: the health and safety of their staff, partners and customers; business continuity; and compliance with the guidelines and regulations issued by public health and government agencies.

This report reviews the current status of the data center industry’s response to the pandemic and details recommendations and possible next steps. These recommendations are based on feedback and comments from Uptime Institute Network members and clients, the Uptime Institute Intelligence team and Uptime Institute consultants in five continents.