Sandy overpowers data centers and submarine cables

Posted on October 31, 2012  /  1 Comments

Fury of Sandy hasn’t spared anything that a modern society survives on. Unlike most of the cities in America, the wooden power poles don’t exist across the downtown of New York and Manhattan. But the underground power cable systems are submerged by stagnant salty water from tidal wave. Barb Darrow posted a chilling account of consequences in Gigaom:

As already reported, data center facilities in lower Manhattan suffered a string of outages after flooding and Con Ed cut electrical power. Datagram, the web hosting company that serves the Huffington Post, Gawker, Gizmodo and BuzzFeed, went down Monday evening after flooding caused those sites to go dark. Data centers at Google-owned Carrier Hotel on 8th Avenue, including Equinix, XO Communications and others were also reportedly affected by power outages, though it appears some are back up and running. And Atlantic Metro Communications also reported disruptions due to flooding at a New York data center.

The specter of trouble with the undersea cables could be a huge deal, although experts said that there is so much redundancy that much of the risk is mitigated. There were some reports attributed to cable operators who said they had experienced power issues but back-up generators prevented service disruption.

Read the full report.

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