Recent damage to an electrical busway will take a variety of government services down with it in the city of Seattle, where crews are about to perform repairs. But in order to make those repairs, city officials warned, some services, along with parts of the data center, will have to be shut down for a while.
City officials--specifically, Mayor Mike McGinn--warned residents that there was a planned outage for Tuesday, September 4, directly after Labor Day, so residents with business to accomplish should either have done so already, or should be prepared for a bit of a wait. Since it was unclear, even to McGinn, if additional time may be needed to provide the repairs to the electrical busway, the outage may well continue for some time past the scheduled outage of September 4.
Admittedly, the services impacted may not impact everyone equally--paying City Light bills, for example, may, but applying for a permit or a business license may not be so much of a problem--but for those who will be affected, any impact is likely to be too much.
Of course, looking at it in hindsight--or just applying general logic--it's easy to wonder why there weren't backups for these systems, some small measure of redundancy built in so that, when something went wrong, services wouldn't have to be shut down. But McGinn seemed ready for this point as well, saying that his budget for 2013 includes funding meant just for improvements to the data center. Now, residents will get a look at what it's like to be without the data center for a little while, McGinn will get extra credibility for his proposed budget, and when someone tries to use this against him in the next election--which won't be for a while yet--he'll have the perfect response ready, that his proposed budget covered some expansion work.
It's proof not only for the city of Seattle, but also for the rest of us, that having backups for important systems--be they storage, power generation or the like--is an important trait to practice. Being ready when disaster strikes, no matter what form that disaster takes, is important not only to businesses but to regular citizens as well. Seattle is showing that perfectly right now with its data center shutdown.
Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud Communications Expo. Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey