Sure, winter may not be as dangerous to your IT as say, hackers, but there are some common sense steps you can take to minimize the threat from cold weather.
HVAC to the rescue
As a rule, IT equipment generates heat, sometimes a great deal of it. During those hot, humid summer months, you trust your HVAC system to keep equipment cool and dry. It stands to reason, then, that keeping your HVAC in tip-top shape during the winter is also important. Temperature and humidity must be strictly controlled no matter what the time of year, but priorities may change. While high humidity is a problem during the summer, the opposite can be true in the winter. Electrostatic discharge from low humidity can be an electronic equipment killer. Consider adding a humidifier to your protection arsenal during cold weather months.
Back it up
Generally, when one hears “back it up” pertaining to IT, it’s in regard to backing up data. But we’re talking about winterizing your IT, so in this case when we say “back it up” we mean back up your power source. In the case of a prolonged cold snap, heavy snow, high winds or all of the above, power could go out for an extended period of time. Backup power, usually in the form of an independent generator, is crucial to ensuring the integrity of your IT. Be sure that the generator is regularly serviced, and has sufficient fuel for any contingency.
Back it up some more
Now we are talking about backing up data. If at all feasible, back up all critical data to another, off-site location. That way, even in the face of total system failure, your IT remains safe and secure.
Keep it clear
Several feet of wet, heavy snow can be damaging, and even catastrophic, to the structural integrity of buildings, power lines, etc. Have a plan in place to clear away snow and ice should it become necessary. Protecting your IT includes protecting the building it’s housed in.
Communication is key
Keep the lines of communication with your chain of command open at all times during inclement weather events. Should something unfortunate happen, the appropriate support staff should be aware of their responsibilities, fully briefed on whatever issues need to be resolved, and prepared to act immediately. Because serious storms may make travel tricky, there should be additional support staff waiting in the wings. Again, it all comes down to communicating clearly and concisely with all staff, keeping everyone in the loop.
It’s time to get serious about your IT investment. Not sure where to start? We can help. Give Warwick a call to discuss your options.