Note: An edited version of this piece was published in IQ by Intel on October 1, 2014 as "Are You Data Center Dependant?" Last month a 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked Napa reminding California, home to the world’s leading data-reliant organizations, of Mother Nature’s destructive potential. It was a stark warning of the damage that can be caused by forces outside our control, especially to the data centers we rely on. Currently there are over 500,000 critical facilities supporting our lives. The strain on them will only increase as the Internet of Things (IoT) drives the rapid proliferation of personal, community and corporate digital technology. Something has to change. We must become more informed about the importance of data centers in our lives. The press has no trouble writing about them, but for all the wrong reasons. The majority of column inches focus on how dirty and polluting they are, when, in reality, no other industry is doing more to clean up its act through regulation and energy efficiency. Today, every part of our lives is dependent on data centers. Our daily social media interactions, the transport infrastructure we depend on, the accessibility and management of personal and corporate finance, and the provision of our power and utilities. Everyone should understand how critical these facilities are to our daily activities.