Superstorm Sandy may be a thing of the past for East Coast, but its effects are still very much present. Internet traffic and websites worldwide have been hit by the effects of Sandy, which has damaged data centers or cut their power, industry sources said Tuesday. Because of power outages, tens of thousands of Internet sites worldwide are unavailable.
According to a tally by the site Datacentermap, the storm caused power cuts and heavy flooding in a zone where about 150 data centers are situated in the states of Virginia, New Jersey and New York.
A graphic sent to AFP by an operator analyzing on an hourly basis the activity of one East Coast Internet hub showed that traffic had peaked strongly on Monday evening as users logged on seeking news. It fell back some hours later as a result of power cuts and network failures caused by the storm.
George Reese, chief technology officer for enStratus, which helps companies manage their data, told the Huffington Post that companies often choose data centers based on cost instead of their tolerance of natural disasters, and then coming up with a disaster preparation plan.
"The critical thing is that you should never have all your data in one location or even in two locations susceptible to the same disaster," he added.
Several sites affected by the storm -- including The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed -- temporarily moved their operations to Tumblr blogs. Buzzfeed was able to restore its site by moving its data to Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), "with one developer working overnight despite a tree falling through his roof," Buzzfeed writer Matt Buchanan wrote in a post on Tuesday.
To keep its customers online throughout Sandy, Pier 1 Hosting spent the first few days earlier this week carrying up buckets of diesel to power a backup generator on the roof that fueled a data center run by Pier 1 Hosting. If the generator ran out of fuel, the servers would fail and thousands of websites would go dark.
Pier 1 Hosting took extreme steps to keep a data center running and give customers access. In the event that you can’t haul buckets of diesel to your generator, backing up your data should be a primary step in protecting your data center. If extensive damage to your physical site is a possibility, offsite backup may be a sensible step. Data backup can involve physical storage or in the cloud, which is idea for disaster recovery, accessing from remote locations and sharing with many people.
Server Technology (News - Alert), a provider of data center power solutions, offers Switched power distribution units (PDUs) that can provide on/off/reboot capabilities for data centers as well as disaster recovery sites. They provide the capability to securely monitor and control cabinet power via a network for a data center or remote branch office.
Disasters and accidents happen, but each minute of downtime costs money, creates headaches and hassle and leaves companies with unsatisfied customers. Companies should make time to take steps to prepare and ensure their own and their data center’s safety.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo