1. How has NTT Global Data Centers been impacted by the Coronavirus?
NTT Global Data Centers Americas continues to operate its facilities, which have been deemed “essential businesses” or “essential infrastructure” with all operations continuing at normal levels, although staffing adjustments have been made to limit our employee exposure and interactions while in the data centers. We have also asked all of our non-essential staff to work remotely and not access the data centers during this time.
All the different departments and teams across the company have also taken a proactive approach to formulating a detailed and careful response to COVID-19 and implementing this pandemic response plan which intended to ensure health, safety, and operations of its clients and employees as part of our ongoing operations.
2. What action is NTT Global Data Centers Americas taking to mitigate and manage the data centers during this pandemic?
We continue to work diligently to maintain our data center environment for our customers, and have implemented specific actions to maintain and operate our data centers during this time, including:
- Conducting sanitizing activities daily in our workplaces and providing hand sanitizer throughout the facilities for all building occupants
- Requesting customers, contractors and visitors to self-disclose if they have traveled to or from a high risk area and if that travel has been within 14 days of when they are planning to visit a data center
- Requiring all non-essential employees to work remotely until further notice, and restricting all access for these employees within the data centers; only mission critical teams are allowed in the data centers at this point in time
- Asking all customers, vendors and contractors to limit data center access unless absolutely critical to maintain specific operations; we are encouraging the use of our onsite smart hands team to perform simple tasks rather than customers coming into the data center
- Implementing new health screening protocols for all employees and customers before entering any data center, and limiting access to multiple buildings by customers and contractors to minimize exposure across sites
3. What steps has NTT Global Data Centers taken to ensure the data centers can continue to operate at full capacity/service levels if the pandemic creates a distribution in staffing or delivery of services?
All the critical infrastructure systems are being maintained at the highest level of readiness and still supported by our data center operations teams. Specific items that are being managed ongoing include:
- Fuel tanks are topped off and maintained at all sites with minimum 24 hours of fuel with contracts in place for refueling in the event it is needed
- Extra spare parts have been ordered and are stocked at each site for all critical electrical and mechanical systems
- Non-essential maintenance has been deferred for now, and only critical work is being performed across the data center systems and infrastructure
- All vendor service organization business continuity plans have been examined and approved by our internal teams to ensure they meet our standards and integrate with our pandemic response plans
- We are in ongoing contact with the utility companies and other key suppliers to ensure we have clear lines of communication established and we have clear line of sight if there are any potential power disruptions
4. What is the NTT Global Data Centers response if employees or customers exhibit flu-like symptoms while onsite?
If our teams are notified by employees or contractors that they are feeling unwell, we will immediately implement safety and isolation measures to limit any potential exposure and isolate employees. This process includes:
- The affected employee will be isolated and quarantined immediately (either sent home or asked to stay home if they are calling in sick)
- The onsite teams will clean and sanitize the entire data center and identify any areas the affected person entered or accessed prior to being identified as potentially sick
- Our security team will track all employees and contractors that the affected person came into contact with, and those individuals will be isolated for 14 days
- NTT Global Data Centers team will notify all affected customers and vendors, and ensure that anyone who may have come into contact with the employee is alerted and quarantined
It is important to note that all these actions are implemented with anyone who calls in sick or shows any symptoms. This process does not require a positive test or any specifics about what type of illness is being exhibited.
5. Will you notify customers if there is a confirmed case at a site by either employee or customer/vendor that visits the site?
Yes. If there is a positive confirmed case where someone who was working within the data center tests positive for COVID-19, our teams will notify all customers who may have been impacted or exposed at the site where the positive test case was confirmed.
6. What are NTT plans to backfill an employee that may become ill?
Our operations team has implemented a program where employees that are working in the data center are organized in a way where exposure across teams is limited, and additional staff is in the ready to step in if a team member is ill. If an employee also alerts the team that they are feeling ill, any team members that came into contact with that employee will also be isolated until we can determine the illness and ensure its safe to come back to work. In this event, we have alternating teams that can step in while these teams are ill or being quarantined.
7. Does NTT have the ability to remotely monitor and manage the data center operations under the most extreme scenarios, which may include blocking access to all employees onsite?
Yes. The NTT Global Data Centers Pandemic Response Plan includes monitoring and managing the data center remotely, which in many cases has already been implemented. Our NOC team has shifted to a primarily remote monitoring process, which allows for minimum staffing onsite to only critical support teams that are needed to maintain critical operations and respond to emergencies across the data centers.