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Is Your Data Center Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?

data center, zombieZombies, it turns out, are excellent metaphors for a whole range of problems that can hit during natural – or unnatural – disasters. Epidemiologists find them useful for modeling how highly contagious diseases can rapidly spread around the globe. The military has used them to imagine new strategies for fighting novel threats. A few years ago, the US Centers for Disease Control even issued a graphic novel about zombies as a way to get people thinking about emergency preparedness.

Here in Kansas, Governor Brownback has declared the month of October as “Zombie Preparedness Month”. State officials recently asked residents to imagine what they might need in case of a wide-scale attack by the undead. Because, as emergency management officials said, “If you’re prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for anything.”

The same thing holds true in the case of your IT infrastructure. If you think ahead and prepare for all the different ways in which a zombie apocalypse might threaten your facilities, you’re probably ready to withstand pretty much anything else the real world might throw at you.

  • Hordes of brain-hungry, shambling corpses pounding at the front door? A hardened, secure, windowless facility will help keep you and your servers safe.
  • Clever zombies somehow manage to get hold of a keycard or passcode? Multi-factor security that includes biometrics (zombies, after all, don’t have the body warmth and heartbeats of a living human) should prevent the flesh-eaters from getting in.
  • What if the walking dead attack during a shift change at the local power plant? No problem: your uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will bridge the few seconds it takes for the generators to reach full power.
  • Having a secondary site can be a nice safeguard if zombies find a hole in security at a less secure site.
  • Oh, and a well-stocked baseball bat closet for reconnaissance trips outside the data center once the surveillance cameras give the all clear.

Odds are, an outbreak of zombies will never be a worry for you. But there are still plenty of other potential threats that could spell disaster for your data center if you’re not prepared. So make sure you take the time to consider all possibilities as you build out your IT infrastructure, have a disaster plan in place and hold a test drill every so often to make sure everyone knows what to do to keep your facilities online. Always best to prepare for zombies when there is no threat of zombies.

Stay secure, stay safe and happy Halloween everyone!

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