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Secure Data Storage in Stormy Times


Rob SwensonViolent summer storms that recently created havoc on the East Coast demonstrated the business value of secure, offsite data storage.

Life-threatening lightning strikes and hurricane-force winds damaged power grids in heavily populated areas, seriously disrupting mechanical access to data as well as people’s ability to get to  jobs and perform critical tasks.

Storms ripped through a multistate area in and around Washington D.C. More than a dozen people were killed by falling trees and in other weather-related mishaps.

National media outlets such as The New York Times and The Associated Press reported how a powerful storm in Virginia took out part of Amazon’s cloud-computing service, which was used by hundreds of businesses.

Internet sites such as Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram were down for hours, and customers had trouble determining if their data was safe. Meanwhile, the usefulness of business tools ranging from mobile communication devices to fixed surveillance cameras was in jeopardy for days.  

Seasonal storms testify to the importance of investments in state-of-the art facilities, such as SDN Communication’s new data-storage center in northwestern Sioux Falls.

Risks to businesses and consumers probably are increasing because people are becoming more dependent on high-tech devices, says SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta.

“If you take your foot off the pedal, you open yourself to risk. You have to stay very vigilant on network security,” Shlanta says.

SDN’s new colocation facility has enhanced the security of data stored with SDN as well as created a new revenue stream for the company.SDN's Data Center

Features of the data center include backup power sources, walls thick enough to withstand extremely strong winds (an F4 tornado), constant electronic surveillance and round-the-clock security surveillance.

CoSentry is the first tenant in the building. It leases rack space to businesses looking for safe, offsite data storage. Other regional networks are expected to make use of the facility in the future.

Read more about the data center and its storm-resistant potential here.