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CIOs in Tokyo deal with earthquake

Jack Loo | March 15, 2011
Damage to most IT environments not major

SINGAPORE, 15 MARCH 2011 - The rotating power cuts in Japan have left CIOs dealing with power supply problems, according to a consultant.

“Server rooms need cooling,” said Lars Godzik, partner, Ginkgo Management Consulting, who is based in Tokyo, Japan. Planned blackouts began late Monday as the nation sought to conserve energy resources.

Many companies have stopped business operations, while foreign-based organisations have been flying out their staff. Even so, “many parts of IT operations will have to continue. It all depends on the electric circuit design and the power supply contracts with providers,” said Godzik.

He added that generators and fuel supplies that are normally not designed for longlasting operations are not an option for full-blown power supply. “So IT will have to distinguish between the necessary and the unnecessary. And a proper plan is key,” explained Godzik.

Despite the impact of the 9.0-Richter scale earthquake, the damage to most IT environments in or around the Tokyo area has not been severe.

One earthquake-related problem saw servers affected by physical shocks, resulting in processing not always properly conducted or shut down.

“There are stalls, required manual interventions, disk damages, isolated loss of transaction based information etc,” said Godzik.

Minor shortcomings such as loose cable connections can lead to tiring error investigations, while the lack of pre-defined procedures on power circuit management, definition on non-critical and critical IT services did contribute to chaos.

“Everything requiring logistics, such as spare part delivery, is almost impossible. Hardly any company is operating normally,” he added. Getting to Narita airport from Tokyo can now take as long as seven hours, instead of the normal average one hour.

Now, the main problem for CIOs to deal with, according to Godzik, is to deal with unsecured power supply.

However, Godzik noted that as many of his clients in the manufacturing vertical have gone into a temporary production stop, “IT has time to fully repair these minor damages”.

 

 

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