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Earth Hardware

New York Data Centers Battle Floods, Utility Outages 186

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 54mc ( 897170 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:18PM (#41821319)

    Why aren't there more datacenters in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, etc.?

    If you're paying the premium to host in Manhattan, you're doing so because latency is a big deal to you.

  • Disaster Plan Fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:25PM (#41821433) Journal

    [...] work hard to assess the situation and our recovery plans.

    How about not putting mission critical equipment susceptible to water damage in the one place all water will go.

  • by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:25PM (#41821437)

    This is as strong as a case forever to stop paying attention to the media.

    Sounds like you already stopped paying attention. Had you even checked the one link in the article, or even read the summary, you'd know it was a catastophy, and New York will not function "perfectly tomorrow like nothing ever happened."

    Schools closed. Subways closed 4-5 days. 38 people dead. Market closed. Fire in Queens destroys dozens of homes. Power outages for millions. 7% of the US population in fact without power. Tunnels flooded (subway and car). NYU Tisch hospital evacuated due to flood related generator failures, including premature babies on ventilators. Just a small summary, of just one city.

    I'm a former NYer. Have spoken to many friends and family. None expect normal life tomorrow. Some have considerable property damage. None lost a life, thankfully. I live in South Florida, incidentally, and rather well understand how damaging hurricanes can be. Wilma damaged my car, and cancelled my wedding day as the roof caved in on the place we were getting married in that Friday.

    This is a rare strong case to NOT stop paying attention to the media.

  • Re:Oblig. XKCD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:34PM (#41821549)
    I don't think you're doing that right.
  • that flooding ruins backup generators, pumps, fuel storage. I hope that disaster mitigation plans are reviewed.

    I also hate people who judge negatively from hindsight, but disaster planning is about considering the most probable of the improbable. Flooding looms most threatening and probable of the improbable.

    Perhaps putting all the backup infrastructure on a higher floor makes it harder to maintain, access, and/ or protect from mischief/ terrorism. However plain old flooding seems to be an issue time and time again in disaster scenarios and really needs highest priority in disaster plans.

  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:03PM (#41822015)

    "Be better prepared" - than what? The storm surge that flooded lower Manhattan beat the previous record by 2 feet, and that record was set almost 200 years ago. The fact that there were only 38 people killed in the entire region shows just how well prepared they were. Nobody was drowned in the subways, because they stopped the subways before they got flooded. Nobody was stuck in elevators, because they turned off the elevators before the power was shut down.

    What is it with all these people saying 'it was not that bad a storm'. It was that bad a storm for the area. It was record flooding. From what I understand, Category 5 hurricanes are 'not that bad a storm' compared to the storms on Jupiter - pretty meaningless comparison, isn't it?

  • Is that all? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:06PM (#41822067)

    Eh, religion probbably killed more than 38 yesterday

  • by DerekLyons ( 302214 ) <> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:09PM (#41822123) Homepage

    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 don't know where you live - but here on Planet Earth, nobody rational calls a storm with 100mph winds and an 11 foot storm surge, "weak". Not to mention, this storm was considerably more severe than is "normal" for that area.

    Sorry if it sounds like sour grapes...

    No, you don't sound like sour grapes - you sound like an ignorant jackass.
    Catch a clue.

  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:12PM (#41823417)

    Getting several feet of snow in one day is not all that unusual in Buffalo. What do you think would happen to New Orleans if that happened there? An average cold winter's day where I live has a low temp of about 0F. Think New Orleans could take that for a few weeks at a time? The tidal change in the Bay of Fundy is something like 40ft - think New Orleans could take it? Sure, you get winds over 100MPH in New Orleans, but Mt Washington, NH recorded over 230MPH. Think you could take it?

    Comparing things like wind speed and storm surge and temperature between different regions is a fools game. What really matters is deviation from normal, and this was a very large deviation from normal. Yes, the storm surge was 'only' 13 feet, but the last time it was that high in NY was - unknown. The previous recorded max was in 1830 something, and this beat it. No, 70MPH winds are not that high in absolute terms, but tell that to the trees that couldn't take it (because normally they are only subjected to 50MPH winds).

    In short, get over yourself. The fact that you have experienced similar absolute numbers without devastation does not in any way mean that the same conditions are not devastating elsewhere, or that they shouldn't be devastating. No matter where you live, someone else is living with conditions that you would consider devastating.

  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:27PM (#41823697)

    The navy has much bigger, more modern ships. There's also national security risks if the navy boats are damaged. No such problems for a movie prop.

    And like I said- it may be safer for the boat. It isn't safer for the crew. This wasn't a surprise storm, this had been forecast for a week. Tie up the boat, stay in a hotel (preferably about 100 miles or so inland), and then repair the boat as needed. The health and safety of the crew is far more important than the ship. The owners deserve to be sued into oblivion for even asking. It is NOT acceptable to risk 16 lives to save money on repairs. Hell, take it to a dry dock if you're that scared.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.