Last month, the County of Santa Clara closed all non-essential services to the public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Similar orders were enacted throughout the Bay Area, the entire state of California and many parts of the country and the world. Included in the county’s list of essential services are the internet and telecommunications systems including “local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services.” This is in line with the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s stance that the information technology sector is central to national security, economy, public health and safety.
The City of Santa Clara has the most data centers per square mile in the country, with 40 of them located within its borders. The increase in telecommuting due to mandatory social distancing requirements has created a spike in internet usage, which in turn has driven demand for cloud computing services made possible by data centers. Due to the critical services they provide, data centers have enacted contingency plans in face of the pandemic.
“Here at Digital Realty, we are monitoring and managing the COVID-19 pandemic globally, across 20 countries, 44 metropolitan areas, and with one overall goal in mind: to keep our employees, customers, and partners safe,” stated Bill Stein, Digital Realty CEO. “But more than that, we know that we have a broader responsibility — to the industries, governments, and families who rely on our 267 data centers around the world to connect, to keep in touch, and to keep commerce and information flowing.”
Digital Realty operates 11 data centers in Santa Clara and has boosted safety protocols at the various locations including sanitation measures and providing specialized staff training. There are also limitations in place around who can enter the centers, with preparations made to run them remotely if necessary.
CoreSite has three data centers in Santa Clara and a fourth under construction. The company announced that it has remained fully operational with normal staffing levels for operational needs though other employees have been working remotely. There’s also a reduced operational staffing plan that can be used if needed.
A Remote Customer Support program enables data center clients such as tech companies to forgo having their own staff onsite and utilize CoreSite employees instead. A Data Center Intelligence feature allows clients to monitor the power usage, temperature and humidity of their server rooms remotely.
Vantage Data Centers has an internal Monitoring and Response Team that’s preparing its data centers for any necessary precautions that need to be taken to keep employees, contractors and customers safe. The company operates a data center in Santa Clara that recently leased 335,000 square feet of space to Facebook due to increased demand for the company’s online services.