Internet data centers battle back from Sandy

Tracey Capen

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.

Sandy didn’t hit people and businesses just on the East Coast. The huge storm’s effects were felt across North America. As anyone who read last week’s Windows Secrets knows, the servers that deliver the Windows Secrets newsletter were knocked out just as we were preparing to publish.

Fortunately, we were able to switch to servers on the West Coast, and we believe most subscribers received the Nov. 1 issue.

The flooding caused by Sandy had a huge effect on the Internet. Numerous major data centers lost power and went dark, despite having spent millions of dollars on backup systems.

Most Internet users rarely think about data centers, but they are the core of the Web. They provide access to the websites we visit, the videos we stream, the connections we make with our cellphones, and the cloud services on which we’re increasingly storing our personal and business data.

In the wake of Sandy, we thought you might be interested in a few of the behind-the-scenes stories about the damage the storm inflicted on data centers in the New York/New Jersey area, as reported (beginning Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012) by one of our sister publications, Data Center Knowledge. We edited the stories a bit to fit Windows Secrets, and we’ve provided links to the original, as-it’s-happening reports.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-11-08:

Tracey Capen

About Tracey Capen

Editor in chief Tracey Capen was the executive editor of reviews at PC World magazine for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. He was InfoWorld's managing editor of reviews from 1993 to 1995 and worked in the magazine's test center and as networking editor from 1989 to 1992. Between his stints at InfoWorld, he was senior labs editor at Corporate Computing magazine.