Ford slams brakes on sales spreadsheets after fire menaces data center

Automaker says backup power saved the day, but monthly financial reports delayed

Ford is working to recover after a fire at its US corporate headquarters briefly shut down data center operations and prevented it from gathering sales data.

The automotive giant said that the Monday fire, which broke out at a power sub-station beneath the building, caused a full evacuation of its headquarters in Dearborn, MI. The fire also resulted in power being cut to its on-site data center that was scheduled to receive sales information from Ford dealerships across America.

No injuries to any staff members were reported and the Dearborn campus was closed for the day, but reopened for business on Tuesday. The nearby Ford Credit offices were also closed Monday and reopened on Tuesday.

The Dearborn facility operates as the global headquarters for Ford. The company said that, following a planned re-modeling, it will house some 30,000 workers.

A Ford spokesperson told The Register that the data center itself is intact, with battery backups on-site preserving all stored data and remote facilities able to shoulder the load while power to the Dearborn datacenter is restored. The company said that no other facilities or services have been disrupted.

The brief outage did, however, prevent the data center from being able to receive and process the sales data. This, in turn has lead to the monthly sales report being delayed until later this week.

Meanwhile, the incident underscores the importance of disaster recovery plans for enterprise IT departments.

Along with the threat of fire and other unexpected shutdowns, businesses should also gear up for the coming threat of severe winter weather, which can present obstacles not only for protecting and recovering the equipment itself, but also for dealing with logistics of moving and housing employees when roads and transport lines are shut down. ®

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