Identifying The Risk
In June 2023, a sudden storm system from the North defied all expectations, rapidly moving through Houston and presenting unforeseen challenges for data centers in Houston, including ours.
What originated near the Dallas metro area was predicted to weaken, but instead, Houston was hammered by heavy rains and fierce winds on an unassuming Wednesday evening.
Reports from Space City Weather highlighted the severity: nearly 340,000 customers without power across Montgomery and Harris Counties, attributed to unanticipated wind gusts, with one nearing 97 mph at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
The series of events underlined not just the unpredictability of nature but the pressing need for constant vigilance and adaptability, reinforcing the resilience and preparation at TRG Datacenters.
Enacting The Plan
Our proactive measures proved invaluable during the surprise June storm in an industry where storm preparedness can make or break operational continuity. We swiftly activated our pre-established protocols:
- Real-time generator transfer: Recognizing the storm’s unexpected strength, on-site technicians didn’t miss a beat, shifting operations immediately to our reliable generators.
- On-call team: Understanding the gravity of grid disturbances, our responsive staff drove to the facility immediately, ensuring the site remained operational.
- Frequent facility checks: To preempt potential issues and guarantee uninterrupted service, our team conducted rapid and consistent cross-checks, reinforcing the resilience of our infrastructure.
The Results & Lessons Learned
In the aftermath of such an unexpected and potent storm, the results reflected our dedication to maintaining the highest standards in operations and infrastructure:
Despite the storm’s unpredictability, our commitment to our customers remained unwavering, ensuring a 100% uptime.
Advantages of Priority Restoration
With the grid being offline for TRG for nearly 12 hours, the significance of Priority Restoration was unmistakably clear. This system allowed our services to be rapidly reinstated, demonstrating the immense value of being positioned at the front of the restoration queue.
In stark contrast, some customers were left offline for up to five days. Having such prioritized provisions in place is paramount when addressing data center emergencies.
Our facility’s multiple sub-station backups held firm. The storm’s onslaught proved that our hardened spec-built facility was more than up to the challenge, withstanding even the most severe conditions.
Setting New Standards
On the evening of June 21, a staggering wind speed of 97 mph was recorded at Bush IAH, as reported by the National Weather Service. This set a new record for IAH Airport, eclipsing all previous historical hurricane records. Such statistics emphasize the storm’s sheer intensity and demonstrate our operations’ resilience and robustness, even when faced with unparalleled challenges.