A "disaster center" called Exchange Resources is among the backup facilities for New York’s stock exchanges. Located in Minneapolis, MN, Exchange Resources holds a full backup for the central New York data, "kept ‘cold’ – that is, manned only by security and facility management personnel – until IT people get there to run it," says Paul Magnussen, head of Magnus U.S. Inc. (Minneapolis), a leading contractor for data centers.
After the attack on the World Trade Center and subsequent loss of power to all of lower Manhattan, Wall Street needed its backup data to re-start trading. However, in all the scenarios that led to development of the disaster center, no one had imagined cessation of all air transportation and the consequent difficulties the stock exchange companies would experience in getting the necessary people from New York to Minneapolis. The only answer proved to be trains and hired cars.
Exchange Resources is a subscription service for stock exchange members, each of which needed to get IT specialists on the road as quickly as possible.
"Throughout the history of data centers – a matter of some 30 years – it’s always been the seemingly small and insignificant type of item that causes trouble," says Magnussen. "Earthquakes taught us that we needed power to come from more than one utility substation, and have more than one supplier of fiber-optics for data communication. Alternative sources aren’t always available."
Despite the terrible events of September 11, at least the "cold" stored data was unaffected.