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Earth Hardware

New York Data Centers Battle Floods, Utility Outages 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the bunker-in-tight dept.
miller60 writes "At least three data center buildings in lower Manhattan are struggling with power problems amid widespread flooding and utility outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. Flooded basements at two sites took out diesel fuel pumps, leaving them unable to refuel generators on higher levels. One of these was Datagram, which knocked out Buzzfeed and the Gawker network of sites. At 111 8th Avenue, some tenants lost power when Equinix briefly experienced generator problems." The NY Times has a running list of Sandy-related problems, including 5,700 more flight cancellations, 6 million people without power, rising water levels at a nuclear plant, official disaster declarations from President Obama, and a death toll of 38. On the upside, and despite the high water levels, the Nuclear Energy Institute was quick to point out that all 34 nuclear facilities in Sandy's path made it through without problems.
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New York Data Centers Battle Floods, Utility Outages

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  • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:14PM (#41821269)

    If we're really lucky, it'll take out all the high frequency traders systems for a few days and we can have an actual market without parasites.

    Nah, who am I kidding. If that actually happened they'd keep Wall Street closed.

  • by blueforce (192332) <clannagael.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:15PM (#41821287) Homepage Journal
    Why aren't there more datacenters in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, etc.? Surely the threat from Tornados could be mitigated and the electrical infrastructure built out more cheaply than the losses due to coastal disasters, no?
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:35PM (#41821557) Homepage Journal
    I'm waiting for people to start asking the questions of "Should we bother rebuilding in New Orle...err...New York, since they're built so close the water, and are a disaster waiting to happen?"

    "What were they thinking building a city between two bodies of water near the ocean so close to sea level"?

    "Maybe we should just move the city to further inland, where its safer and we won't have to go through this over and over again...and keep wasting money"

    I know I've heard that before..hmmmm.

    Seems like the should have known not to build so close to the water, and if they did...not to put things that react badly with salt water underground, eh?

    Sorry if it sounds like sour grapes...and I do feel horrible for the people that flooded and lost things, I know first hand how that feels from Katrina.

    But I do get a bit uneasy..seeing how differently things are treated during the storms and afterwards....depending on where in the US you are situated.

    I mean, this storm, while large in breadth....was a weak Cat. 1 when it made landfall. I could see it being worse, if it had happened and turned into a blizzard over NJ and NYC as was a worst case scenario.

    But c'mon...if you have property ON the freakin shoreline, beach front houses, guess what...you're gonna get damaged with a hurricane or other strong storm.

    Aside from the areas right near the water..I didn't see all that much damage. Sure, people are going to be without power a couple or more weeks in some areas. Those of us that live in the Gulf south take this as normal a couple times a year...that's what you get for living close to the ocean.

    Again....not to make light of anyone's loss, flooding is very difficult to deal with...it sucks.

    But this was a weak storm, and did about normal damage as happens to places with a storm like this hitting a coastal area.

    I feel bad for those that will next have to deal with FEMA.....then again, maybe their a bit better by now...but I still have less than fond memories for them.

    Anyway...people in those areas up there....you'd better get used to these storms hitting more often.

    These things go in cycles..and ya'll have been lucky the past decades. I believe back in the 50's a number of storms made landfall up there...but has been so long, that people forget.

    Last year, Irene and this year Sandy....hope you're better prepared for next year....if nothing else, you're a dolt if you don't purchase flood insurance. It is DIRT cheap....most everyone would be well served buying it if you ever have even occasional flash floods in your area....

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:46PM (#41821717) Homepage Journal
    Hmm....boy, this doesn't speak well for the super dense urban living does it?

    Everyone depending on mass transportation...a little flooding and the city comes to a stand still?

    Hell, we get hit with Cat 1 level storms all the time in the Gulf south area...it is a major PITA, and I do feel for people that got flooded, it is horrible...but it *IS* part of living near the coast of an ocean.

    I hope everyone had flood insurance, it is dirt cheap.

    But really aside from the expected shoreline damage..this wasn't that bad of a storm. It appeared the media had to try to go out of their way to try to make areas where they were reporting look worse than it was. I mean, reporters not on the coast...barely had wind blowing, a little rain in the background....it wasn't THAT bad of a storm.

    But it does show the drawback of everyone proclaiming the good points of living urban...at least in less urban places, the storm doesn't put everything at a stand still...everyone in more 'normal' cities and areas, can still get in their own car or truck and move and go as needed to repair things, resupply and yes...get back to work and normal life.

    Seems the urban style, and 99% dependence on mass, underground transportation is proving to be a nagging single point of failure, no?

    This was not that bad of a storm. If it hit NYC and other cities there worse than it should...maybe it should be a wake up call for them...to be better prepared. These storms come in cycles and this is likely going to be more of a routine occurrence in the next decade or so.

    it isn't like anyone will call for us to "move NYC to a safer area" like we've heard when talk of rebuilding flooded and hurricane damaged cities happened in the not so distant past...even on Slashdot.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <<slashdot> <at> <worf.net>> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:44PM (#41823963)

    HFT systems are located as close to the exchange's servers as they physically can be, because all the marketeers think it's bad juju to have a ping time above .01ms.

    Needless to say, if the HFT systems go down, then the market's exchange servers 2 feet away will probably be down, as well.

    If you're within the datacenter, there's a chance the trading computers are a bit further away from that actually. What happens is that the exchange actually ends up finding the longest cable they need to reach from the trading computer to the farthest rack, then they ensure that every cable from the trading computer any rack is that length. That way all the HFT traders who pay to be physically close in the data center aren't getting any advantage - there's just a huge coil of cable above the rack to ensure every rack gets the same latency. One could argue the coil of cable adds to latency by being an inductor, I suppose...

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