Korea ICT Ministry Addresses Data Centers Safety Measures Following the Kakao Fire Incident

Ministry of Science and ICT office in Sejong, about 120 kilometers south of Seoul.

Park Yun-kyu, Second Vice Minister of Science and ICT, initiated an urgent meeting on Friday in downtown Seoul’s Jongno District with IT service providers including Google, Netflix, Meta Platforms, Woowa Brothers, Dangan Market, and Amazon Web Services to address data center safety measures.

In response to a fire at the SK C&C data center in Pangyo on October 15, Kakao servers were rendered inoperable. Due to backup systems failing to function, the messenger service and services provided by affiliated businesses were unavailable and intermittent for anywhere between 10 hours and two days.

Although the data center’s emergency power system has been fully restored, according to SK C&C, it could take up to three weeks for the emergency power supply system to do the same.

 

 

According to Park Yun-kyu, the recent accident served as a reminder of how much of an impact internet services have on people’s daily lives and how much of a social responsibility service providers bear.

Following the collapse of Kakao services due to a fire at a data center, the ICT ministry will subject data centers to the government’s disaster management system and create an organization for digital risk control.

There will be a center set up to manage disaster prevention and response for digital infrastructure. Private data centers will also be treated by the ministry as facilities for governmental disaster management, necessitating regular inspections and safety drills. However, small- and mid-sized companies will not be subject to the regulations as it will mostly apply to large companies.

Data centers and other types of network infrastructure will be inspected for safety across the country by the National Fire Agency and the ICT ministry. Additionally, a group of specialists will be assembled to develop strategies for enhancing data centers’ safety.

In the long run, the ministry will advocate for the development of technologies to improve the reliability and safety of IT systems.. Examples include all-solid-state batteries, which pose less fire risks, and satellite internet connections in case of emergencies.

 

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