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What Facebook Learned About Data Center Resiliency

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on July 23, 2015

Facebook recently performed an infrastructure stress test where they shut down an entire data center for one day to see what would happen. According to Jay Parikh, global head of engineering at Facebook, “This is not a small thing. This is tens of megawatts of power that basically we turned off for an entire day to test how our systems were going to actually respond.”

Some planning and preparation took place before they actually “pulled the plug”. They had to make sure the other data centers were ready to pick up the load. In the end, Parikh said it was actually a boring experience, which is exactly the way it should be.

Preventing downtime

vXchnge has a similar process which they run at their data centers. They perform an “Integrated Systems Test”, whereas the external power at the utility level is shut down. This simulates a full failover scenario for the emergency power infrastructure. This is designed to ensure all emergency power, mechanical and monitoring systems respond as designed and built. This test is performed to ensure that the Methods and Procedures are validated as well. Successful testing ensures that their data centers perform flawlessly around-the-clock.

This type of process should be used in every data center in order to prevent potential downtime in case of a real catastrophe of power failure. You don’t want to wait until catastrophe occurs to realize that your generator won’t start or your batteries no longer hold a charge.

What this means to you

Downtime can be devastating to a business. This is why it is so important for data centers to shut off the power and perform integrated systems testing. It allows them to do a reality check to verify that your mission-critical data centers will continue to function. In order for this to give an accurate representation of an outage, all systems have to be operating at full load to make sure that systems will continue to operate at this level in case of a real disaster.

This is just one of the many routine tasks that vXchnge does to make sure that their data centers maintain uptime levels that your company can depend on. That level of superior service is what you should expect from your data center, and vXchnge delivers it.

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