How are our data centres coping?

The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting everything, including our data centres. So what challenges are being faced and what they're doing to meet demand?

As the world introduced social distancing measures and went into lockdown, data centres have had to deal with unprecedented demand for computing capacity.

Many of us are working from home, using video conferencing apps to connect with loved ones, teaching our children virtually, and streaming box sets to keep entertained. "We're ordering greater amounts via e-commerce and more people are gaming online," says Ziad Youssef, VP Secure Power - MEA, at electrical equipment and automation digital solutions provider Schneider Electric. "I've seen reports indicating that data traffic is up double-digit, 30% and upwards in certain regions."

That's just at home - critical infrastructure and pharmaceutical researchers are also relying on data centres more than ever before. In response, many countries have formally recognised data centres as critical national infrastructure (CNI) and data centre staff as key workers.

"Our sector has never been more relevant and critical for ensuring essential infrastructure such as the health service, transport, media and supply chain remain operational, giving us the best chance to successfully deal with this pandemic," says Matt Pullen, Managing Director, Europe, at data centre provider CyrusOne.


Challenges faced

The key challenge for data centre operators during this pandemic is twofold: ensuring the health and safety of employees while adequately staffing facilities to meet customer demand.

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