'Heat Map' of Disaster-Prone Locations

An area’s vulnerability to natural disaster is a major factor in data center site location. So how do you identify the relative disaster risk of different markets for different type of events? Pingdom has created a handy color-coded “heat map” that displays the geographic risk for earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados, overlaid with data from the U.S. Geological Survey, National Hurricane Center and National Climatic Data Center. It’s a great example of a mash-up that provides an “at a glance” overview of the relative risk of locations in the continental U.S. An excerpt:

There are a few areas in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas where none of the three heat maps overlap. There may of course be other dangers aside from those we listed here. We are not saying that everyone should move to Montana, but if you take earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes into account, you might want to keep your data center (or servers in general) outside the “red zones” of the map.

Pingdom also provides links to heat maps for specific types of disasters from the agencies tracking these trends.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.