5/13/2020 UPDATE: Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic

 

As Coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to impact the world as a pandemic, ensuring the health, wellness, and safety of all who we employ and conduct business with is Netrality’s top priority. As shared in recent news, certain markets are beginning to lift restrictions surrounding access to public areas and businesses. While this shows signs of positivity, as an essential business, it is important that we remain cautious in how we interact with others in order to ensure everyone’s safety.

Netrality facilities remain open and are operational nationwide. Our pandemic plans that we have in place for all facilities to maintain continuity of service and to ensure the health and safety of all who enter our facilities remain in force.

Below please find an overview of our preparedness relative to COVID-19 and our plan to ensure consistent, reliable service.

Action plan to ensure the health and safety of all who enter our facilities:

  • Monitor local public health guidelines in each of the operational markets, as well as the directives of national and global authorities, as the situation continues to develop.
  • Advise customers and staff to avoid all noncritical face-to-face meetings, including vendor meetings and group gatherings, with recommendations to utilize teleconferencing or video conferencing alternatives.
  • Institute locked entrance-door policy for all facilities, with access available via authorized cards or by appointment only.
  • Mandate facial covering be worn by all who enter Netrality facilities.
  • Social distancing measures in force requiring 6 feet between all people in all building common areas; it is encouraged to practice this within your space as well.
  • All who enter the building may be subject to infrared temperature screening.
  • Require employees to work remotely to the extent their roles permit.
  • Increase safety protocols across our Data Centers, including enhanced sanitary measures at 3X their standard operating levels and intervals.
  • Increase availability of lobby and office hand sanitizer dispensers and restock frequently.
  • Restrict non-essential air travel.
  • Deploy Emergency Response and Business Continuity Plans as necessary, with an increase in customer communications and updates.
  • Prepare to transition (if necessary) to minimum critical onsite staff levels in markets determined to be at higher risk, alternating teams/shifts to maintain service continuity.
  • Leverage Netrality’s data center infrastructure management tools to extend remote monitoring and management capabilities; enable team members to work remotely in a fully productive way.

Action plan to ensure business continuity:

  • Netrality facilities are equipped with emergency and stand-by supplies to ensure we remain fully operational should remote operation become necessary.
  • For potential employee absenteeism, absentee-related guidelines as part of our Business Continuity Plan will be implemented.
  • Netrality regularly engages with our critical suppliers to confirm their pandemic response plans, and we continue to monitor their ability to allow us to provide service continuity.
  • Netrality has activated its Emergency Response Protocol, which includes ensuring emergency infrastructure is in optimal condition, and the deferral of unnecessary maintenance or repairs.

 

Customer Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 5/13/2020)
In an effort to help communicate more effectively and efficiently with our valued customers, below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding information and developments surrounding COVID-19. This document is intended to provide general information pertaining to Netrality’s response plans and procedures, and is subject to change without notice.

Q: Are customers and tenants able to access Netrality locations during COVID-19?
A: All Netrality locations are fully operational at this time. In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases and to limit interactions, Netrality is taking urgent action to further protect the health and safety of our customers, partners, employees, and all who are approved to enter our facilities. In order to maintain the continuity of our services and to align with governmental regulations and public health recommendations, the following restrictions and policies have been implemented effective Monday, 4/13/2020, until further notice:

    • Restricted Access: We have restricted access to our Data Center facilities for visitors, customers, customer contractors, and non-critical Netrality employees, contractors and vendors.
    • Access by Appointment Only: Netrality Data Centers are operating under an appointment-only protocol until further notice. Customers may schedule a work visit for mission-critical work via the Netrality Customer Portal. Customers who do not have access to the Netrality Customer Portal may contact the Netrality NOC at support@netrality.com.
    • Enhanced Policies: For all Netrality Data Centers, we have implemented enhanced policies to maintain the integrity of our facilities and to further protect the health and safety of all who enter.
        • Our on-site Netrality staff will continue to serve all customers through the execution of tickets via remote hands, troubleshooting, cross connects, and inbound/outbound shipments. However, we ask that customers try to limit their requests to critical work only during the COVID-19 pandemic.
        • For business-critical requests that would normally entail a customer site visit, or urgent remote hands support, Netrality will consider waiving fees for our remote hands services on a case-by-case basis.
        • Our objective is to complete all incoming orders, but standard delivery intervals will be suspended, and all customer-submitted tickets will be scheduled for completion on an individual case basis.
    • Any visitors who have scheduled an appointment at Netrality Data Centers should arrive wearing proper PPE, including a facial covering, and may be subject to an infrared temperature check prior to being granted access to the facility.

For additional questions related to the new restricted access, appointment-only protocol, and enhanced policies, please e-mail support@netrality.com.

Q: What does restricted access mean?
A: Restricted access limits who is allowed inside Netrality Data Centers in response to global authorities’ guidance regarding social distancing. Visitors, customers, customer contractors, noncritical Netrality employees, contractors, and vendors will not be permitted inside Netrality Data Center locations without special permission, and/or unless deemed critical to protecting the public health or the global economy.

Regardless of access restrictions, all Netrality Data Centers are fully operational at the present time. Customers and partners are encouraged to utilize Data Center technicians via remote hands whenever possible.

We are monitoring developments in each market and appreciate your understanding.

Q: Why restrict Data Center access to appointment-only and how do customers schedule appointments?
A: Access to all Netrality Data Centers will require pre-scheduled appointments to access the facilities. The decision to implement an appointment-only policy was made in accordance with CDC guidelines to allow for social distancing and thus minimize the risk of impact within our data centers while maximizing our ability to operate and maintain our services on behalf of our customers.

Operating under this policy, customers will be required to schedule an appointment using the Netrality customer portal. Customers who do not have access to the portal should contact the Netrality NOC via e-mail at support@netrality.com.

If you have successfully scheduled an appointment, upon arrival at the Data Center, customers and visitors should proceed to their cage/cabinet, conduct their work, and then exit the facility as quickly and efficiently as possible. If Netrality employees or security are escorting a customer representative to their cage or cabinet, they will do so while maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet or greater, and following our internal policies for elevator use and working unattended. We are also requesting that no more than two people per customer request access to a Data Center in a single visit.

Our on-site Netrality staff will continue to serve all customers through the execution of remote hands tickets, troubleshooting, cross connects, and inbound/outbound shipments. We ask that customers try to limit their requests to critical work only during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: May customers still receive shipments to Netrality facilities under these new restriction and appointment-only policies?
A: Netrality will continue to accept shipments at all Data Centers and deliver the shipments to customer cages or storage spaces within the facility. Netrality asks that customers limit their inbound/outbound shipments to critical work only during the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, customers are required to open a ticket with Netrality for inbound/outbound shipments via the customer portal or the Netrality NOC via e-mail at support@netrality.com.

Q: Will Netrality continue to allow access to conference rooms, customer lounges, and break rooms in its Data Centers?
A: In order to minimize the risk of illness transmission in areas where multiple people congregate, and to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Netrality is temporarily suspending customers’ ability to reserve conference rooms and is limiting access to areas of congregation (IE break rooms) within our Data Centers. We respectfully request that customers only send representatives to our Data Centers for critical work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: If a Netrality Data Center becomes inaccessible due to a government curfew, what steps would Netrality take, and what products/services could be materially impacted?
A: Nationwide, our Data Canters are currently open for business. In the event that a complete lockdown is required at one or more of our sites, Netrality is prepared to maintain the necessary on-site staffing levels required to support continuous operations.

Q: Under the current conditions, is Netrality planning to reduce/interrupt any products and/or services?
A: At this time, Netrality Data Centers continues to support all services with the exception of conference room booking, data center tours, and on-site audits, as these are not deemed critical work. We continue to request that customers leverage our remote hands services as much as possible and avoid sending representatives to the data center unless there is critical work to complete. If there are any modifications to our on-site support services in a particular Data Center, we will notify customers via a memo or public update as soon as possible.

Q: Does Netrality have a Pandemic Plan to respond to – and recover from – events with the potential for mass absenteeism, such as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic?
A: Yes, Netrality has Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) in place should a mass absenteeism event occur.

Q: Does Netrality maintain a Business Continuity Plan and keep it updated?
A: Netrality regularly reviews and updates its extensive Business Continuity Plan. To address the unique challenges faced in a pandemic, Netrality has designed a Pandemic Response Plan, which is supported by the overall Business Continuity Plan.

Additionally, local site teams manage local issues with the support and guidance of leadership teams.

Q: Has Netrality taken precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
A: Yes, internal communication regarding employee and corporate initiatives to mitigate exposure and to maintain wellness has been disseminated to all customers and employees. Preventative measures are posted for customers and third parties in common areas within our Data Centers as well. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing common areas, workstations, and restrooms at each Data Center location. We continue to encourage our employees and partners to adhere to all CDC recommendations, including measures of deterrence and preparation related to this pandemic.

Q: Is there a potential impact to your systems, services, or delivered products? If so, what is the potential impact?
A: We anticipate that mass absenteeism is the likeliest risk to delivery of our services and products. Netrality continues to assess the risk of Coronavirus as it develops. We will comply with directives of applicable governing authorities while maintaining our steadfast focus to deliver continuity through mitigation and response procedures, utilization of third-party resources, and alignment of internal resources.

Q: How will you be providing updates to customers and vendors?
A:
All communication will be provided via email through our Incident Response Program that is currently being utilized for routine and emergency notifications to customers, while adhering to federal HIPAA and Privacy Act guidelines. The Incident Response communication network operates remotely, and there is no anticipated interruption in service to the network.

Q: How committed is Netrality to responsiveness and risk mitigation from a pandemic perspective?
A: All of our engineering staff is OSHA-10 certified and trained to recognize risks and to adhere strictly to operating procedures focused on health and safety. Additionally, we maintain a Safety Committee of employees dedicated to championing safety-related causes and concerns. As such, the Netrality environment is accustomed to heightened vigilance regarding health and safety on-site.

Q: Are you, as an employer, implementing work-from-home policies at the present time?
A: Work-from-home policies are rolled out and remain in force market-by-market based on local circumstances. Our employees supporting on-site operations, project management, and security of our data centers, continue to work on-site. Should CDC guidance relative to any of our markets change, we are prepared to implement reduced staffing plans for impacted facilities and to operate using alternating teams as to ensure no interruption in service and operation.

 

This FAQ document is not intended to be exhaustive; if you have further questions please contact feedback@netrality.com.

 

As the country and world face unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the strains placed on so many within our communities. As such, we are proud to announce that Netrality Data Centers has committed a total of $100,000 to charitable organizations to support those struggling in our communities. Learn more about the organizations in our markets that we have partnered with here.