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  1. #1
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    Internet data centers battle back from Sandy




    TOP STORY

    Internet data centers battle back from Sandy


    By Tracey Capen and Rich Miller

    We all know that Superstorm Sandy was immensely destructive to the eastern coast of North America, with New York and New Jersey particularly hard-hit. While individuals battled to save their property — and in many cases their lives — huge Internet data centers struggled to stay online.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/top-story/internet-data-centers-battle-back-from-sandy/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    The number of data centres concentrated in a small number of locatons is surprisng, as is the lack of 100% redundancy.

    I understand the need to have centres near the clients, but why not have full mirrors in less vulnerable sites?

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    Several years ago I wondered about the wisdom of data centers being in Manhattan when they could be not too far away on higher ground or upstate and perhaps have a hydroelectric source of power.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrym View Post
    The number of data centres concentrated in a small number of locatons is surprisng, as is the lack of 100% redundancy.

    I understand the need to have centres near the clients, but why not have full mirrors in less vulnerable sites?
    Good point, and the answer is surely that it's short term thinking and not wanting to pay a little extra to avert disaster.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavehomme View Post
    Good point, and the answer is surely that it's short term thinking and not wanting to pay a little extra to avert disaster.
    Don't worry, we will all kick in a few extra dollars real soon to help pay for a new one.
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    Unhappy This felt like the middle reels of a disaster movie

    I wouldn't give this article a very high rating. Not because it wasn't interesting; on the contrary, it was fascinating - but because it felt incomplete. What was missing was context. Why critical infrastructure was located where it was. What the normal precautions were and whether or not they appeared inadequate as the forecasts worsened. What extra measures were undertaken in preperation for the storm prior to Hurricane Sandy actually touching down. Of course, the ending of the story is still being written - but that doesn't excuse the absence of the beginning.

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Great story, thanks!

    My husband was the data center manager for a mid-sized California county in the 1990s and early 2000s. We had a large room of UPS batteries, an underground diesel fuel supply, the usual means of providing power during outages. His job was thankless -- I wouldn't have traded mine for his under any circumstances! Among his other duties, he had to be ready for any disaster, any time, under any conditions -- loss of power, union strikes, dead mainframes and servers, printer paper that was too moist to get through the two huge IBM laser printers, the list of problems he had to deal with was endless, and it was all his responsibility. What makes a good manager is to keep testing equipment and procedures and making sure you have multiple backup avenues, and hot sites are great if the budget allows. But as the articles proved, sometimes you just have to do the best you can because there's no way to plan for such huge disasters. It sounds like most everyone recovered, or tried, as well as they could under those circumstances.

    Lessons learned? Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

    Unfortunately, I believe the stress of the county job is what caused my husband to have a fatal heart attack. RIP Bob Horback.
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  8. #8
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    Great article!

    Data centres bounce back was a great article. Level of detail and choice of items described was very good. I read it with much interest (but did not drill down via the links provided, although I appreciated the opportunities to do so). The stories reminded me of several incidents from my past working life, including one while attending a large test batch for "cooked ham" going through a new automated continuous cook process. Of course when we lost power the conveyor stopped, but the product kept cooking in steaming hot water, albeit at a constantly(?) decreasing rate. I was totally alone in a darkened food processing plant, with only a couple of emergency lights to help. Instead of simply leaving the premises, and having more energy than good sense, I decided to hand-crank the conveyor for three hours to "save" about half the product. That was in November 1965 when the whole north-eastern seaboard went dark. (article-http://www.mt.net/~watcher/UFOnov1965poweroutage.html) In retrospect, compared to this latest and much, much more extensive disaster, beyond the direct impact on individuals, I appreciate how many more industries and their customers have been financially hard-hit.

    Thanks especially for the stories about the true dedication and commitment by some individuals to their companies' and customers.

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