Sandy’s Data Center Impact
Well, I sat and watched the coverage of Superstorm Sandy last night, flipping between the major cable news networks and The Weather Channel, and also trying to keep up with my northeast friends via Facebook and Twitter.
You could almost mirror match the power outages with the suddenly disappearing Facebook and Twitter streams, as one friend after another dropped from the social radar screen.
Having lived in New York City and its surroundings for the better part of eight years of my life, I was completely sympathetic to their plight, and quite frankly, astonished at some of the images I was witnessing.
I’ve been out doing some research to try and understand the negative IT impact, and it didn’t take long.
This story indicated that the flooding had hobbled two data center buildings in Lower Manhattan, mainly because it took out diesel pumps (located in basements) that were needed to refuel generators.
Datagram’s 33 Whitehall basement was also inundated, taking out some major Web sites, including Gawker, Gizmodo, Buzzfeed, The Huffington Post, and Media. The attached screenshot demonstrates the message I tried going there just this morning.
Ars Technica also had a post detailing some of the outages, in which they suggested that “customers relying on hosting providers and cloud services may want to build systems that can fail over across multiple regions,” but that “even the most extensive preparations may not be enough to stay online in the face of a storm like Hurricane Sandy.”‘
IBM’s own Business Continuity Services had this message for IBM clients posted on its home page overnight:
The IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency team is monitoring the status of Hurricane Sandy and has activated our Emergency Operations Center to ensure we are prepared to assist our customers throughout the storm. Our delivery teams are assembled in BCRS recovery centers in Sterling Forest, NY, Gaithersburg, MD and Boulder CO and all facilities are secure and ready to support all client declarations. We are proactively assessing the potential impact to our customers who are projected to be in the path of the storm, and our delivery program management team will provide regular updates to our clients as the storm progresses, and will be available to respond to any questions throughout the week. If you need to call IBM to place us on alert, or to declare a disaster, please call 1-877-IBM-REC1 (877-426-7321)