The Iowa Floods and Disaster Recovery

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The state of Iowa continues to struggle with serious flooding, with large parts of Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Iowa City inundated. Byte and Switch has an overview of how IT managers in Iowa are coping with the disaster, while Iowa-based blogger John Rath of Data Center Links points to photos of the flooding and shares some of his impressions:

I can’t mention company specifics for obvious reasons, but I have seen a lot of companies executing their disaster recovery plans as a result of the floods and have learned a lot from it. I have witnessed disaster plans carried out almost exactly as planned, but have also seen companies that did not have much planning in place at all (especially as it relates to their IT equipment). Again, the impressive part of both good and bad DR plan execution is the level of involvement and willingness to do whatever it takes from the people involved.

In Iowa City, much of the University of Iowa was threatened by the flooding. University CIO Steve Fleagle reported Sunday afternoon that the University’s core IT services, including e-mail, web, phone and human resources systems are stable and operational. Some IT services are in buildings running on generator power.


One area that hasn’t been hit as hard is Council Bluffs, home to a major Google data center. A spokesman for the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce told Byte & Switch that the area has not experienced any of the flooding that has ravaged other parts of Iowa.

It also remains to be seen whether the floods will have any impact on the decision process for Microsoft, which is considering building a data center in Iowa but has not yet given any public indication about the status of its deliberations.

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.