Paul E. Szurek
Chief Executive Officer
CoreSite Preparedness and Customer, Employee and Vendor Well Being
Q: What has CoreSite done to prepare for this pandemic situation?
We have a Business Continuity Plan which we continually evaluate, test, update and drill against to address a variety of scenarios, including epidemics and pandemics, to protect the interests of our customers, vendors and employees and to maintain the industry leading resiliency of our data center operations and our high standards of customer service.
Q: What guidelines does CoreSite utilize in addressing Business Continuity Planning for COVID-19?
We continue to closely follow the developing news regarding COVID-19, including monitoring reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government organizations. Importantly, we are closely monitoring the local governments in our data center markets and following their requirements, including directives on restricted movement and sheltering in place.
Q: What general measures are you taking for employee well-being?
In keeping with governmental directives and advice, we’ve suspended non-essential business travel and all international travel, implemented work-from-home measures, directed employees not essential for on-site activities to work remotely, taught and enforced social distancing and other best practices at our sites, cancelled larger group meetings and similar functions, and increased our sanitization practices both in our data centers and office locations. Our Business Continuity Team, including Human Resources, and our people managers throughout our organization, are working to ensure we are timely addressing the information and needs of our employees.
Data Center Operations and Impacts
Q: How are you prepared for Data Center staffing, and are you currently at full staffing?
Employees whose presence is not required at the data center for operations are working remotely to prevent potential virus transmission at our office locations and data centers. We have implemented a reduced staffing plan as part of our Standard Operating Procedures. We have also cross-trained our employees in the data center for maximum efficiency and flexibility and we have contingency plans to move personnel among sites if necessary.
Q: Are you limiting access to the Data Centers?
We have directed all data center employees whose presence on site is not essential to work remotely. We have communicated and worked to strongly encourage customers to self-limit access to data centers and continue to offer services that reduce the needs for customer visits. This includes use of our Customer Portal to request “Remote Hands” services, which tasks our team to perform light maintenance efforts. In addition, our customers can leverage our Data Center Intelligence capabilities to remotely monitor key elements of their operating environments such as power usage and temperature and humidity conditions. As always, customers can use the Customer Portal to quickly direct new services via the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange. Many of our customers already operate with little to no in-person visits to our data centers.
Q: Do you have any requirements on those entering your Data Centers?
We do. In order to protect our community, we ask that customers and vendors limit their visits to our locations. If conditions require them to access one of our data centers, we ask that our employees, customers, and vendor partners consider the following questions:
If they answer “yes” to any of these questions, we ask that they defer their visit to a future date
Q: Do you have the ability to Shelter in Place in the Data Centers?
We have prepared our team for such potential situations, including storing foods and other essentials on site to enable sheltering in place, as we do in areas facing hurricanes or similar storm conditions.
Q: Are Shelter in Place directives preventing employees from getting to the Data Center?
While the majority of our communities currently have implemented Shelter in Place, Safer at Home or other similar directives, our data center operations employees are specifically allowed to come to work as they continue to support critical data center operations, which are considered critical infrastructure by federal, state and local governments. Our Legal department will provide appropriate certifications to our employees to avoid confusion.
Q: Do you expect labor shortages in markets such as Santa Clara and NYC markets?
As a result of our cross training of employees and ability to move employees between relatively close locations, we do not have a concern at this time. However we are constantly monitoring and planning for contingencies in this unprecedented situation.
Q: In terms of supply issues, how much of your key Data Center equipment do you think could be impacted by this situation?
For the time being all data center equipment is up to date on maintenance, we have sufficient bench stock, and all operational vendors have confirmed availability and supplies. Regarding space availability, we currently have various construction projects in development in our Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Chicago markets. Those projects are scheduled to complete in 2020.
Q: Are all Data Center facilities running at normal capacity?
Our data centers are all running at normal capacity, and we have the capabilities and capacity to serve additional customer needs at all of our data centers.
Q: Have customers cited issues in obtaining servers or other key equipment?
Not to our knowledge. We have several ongoing customer installations that appear to be proceeding normally. We recommend our customers work with their supply chain for any equipment they intend on procuring themselves to ensure there are no delays.
Q: You have indicated you expect to deliver your two new ground up developments in 2020. Can the impact of COVID-19 jeopardize or otherwise delays those targets?
Local regulations and labor impacts could be a factor in our construction completions. As of today, all projects are continuing. We are pleased with our progress to date related to our new downtown Chicago data center (CH2), which should complete next quarter and construction continues at our SV8 and LA3 locations. However, as it relates to the broader impact, this environment is fluid, and we will monitor and provide an update on any changes to our expectations of construction completions.