People outside the tech industries don’t talk about data centers very much. Why would they? Data centers are behind-the-scenes infrastructure, which only interests techies like people who work for IVR companies.
So, unless you’re setting up your own network or IVR system, you really don’t want to have to think about your data center. It’s like your furnace: you don’t want to have to think about your furnace, because that probably means it’s not working well.
Superstorm Sandy has knocked out a New York City data center that housed the data for media agencies including BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Gawker, according to NBC News.
On one of the BuzzFeed channels on Tumblr was this announcement:
Datagram, the ISP whose Manhattan servers host BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Gawker and other sites, has lost power, an official there told us via text this evening.
“Basement flooded, fuel pump off-line—we got people working on it now. 5 feet of water now,” the official wrote.
Here’s the Datagram announcement:
As of 5pm on October 29, 2012, Datagram had thoroughly tested its emergency systems at 33 Whitehall, NYC fully staffed and awaiting the storm to hit Manhattan’s shores. Once ConEd lost power to Lower Manhattan, Datagram’s emergency systems kicked on maintaining power to Datagram’s datacenter. Unfortunately, within a couple hours of the storm hitting Manhattan’s shores, the building’s entire basement, which houses the building’s fuel tank pumps and sump pumps, was completely filled with water and a few feet into the lobby. Due to electrical systems being underwater the building was forced to shut down to avoid fire and permanent damage.
Needless to say (not knocking Datagram in any way), this illustrates the importance of multiple, redundant systems within data centers. Not just for the servers, themselves, but for everything…including ‘fuel tank pumps and sump pumps’ for an emergency power system.