The Japanese government has taken great strides recently in moving nuclear data to the cloud in wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The nuclear spill, arguably the worst in world history, has exposed many weaknesses in the setup of critical Japanese infrastructure. Moving to the cloud will not only improve cost efficiency but will also protect against major future power shutdowns.
Makoto Nakamura, senior director for Hitachi Consulting , told The Register, “Power failure continued longer than expected and fuel for home-owned electric generators could not be supplied; transportation was paralyzed and the workforce could not assemble in the first place; communication channels were lost even when using multiple carriers; and the power supply from multiple sources got shut off. It was a trigger to rethink the fundamentals – where to physically place datacenters, and to what extent companies should rely on information systems.”
Many companies have taken the Fukushima disaster and learned from it by transforming their structure with more of a focus being put on stability and backup. Nakamura continued, “So many customers have lost so much information that was buried in PCs and the PCs got buried in the mud. They need back-up and they want to go to non-shaky places and they want to use exactly the same infrastructure…to take the data back if something changes in the political scene.”
Although disaster struck hard in this area, it seems as though several large cloud enterprises have benefited from this event. Microsoft seemed to get a big boost in new partnerships. According to a Microsoft spokesperson, “Following the earthquake and tsunami disasters in 2011, there have definitely been more Japanese businesses moving to the cloud or considering a move. We have seen increased interest and uptake for Office 365 and Windows Azure, especially among SMBs. In May this year, we also added two domestic data centers—one near Tokyo and another in the Kansai region further south. By using two regions, our customers are able to build configurations for domestic disaster recovery, while having improved performance at the same time.”
While countless IT managers have been looking at the various data recovery options, they are not the only ones. CSPs such as KT Corp. and SoftBank have already teamed up over two years ago to open data centers in the region.
The Fukushima incident, to this day, still has Japan cleaning up the mess.