Data Centers, Internet, and Irene what happened to service?

Renesys has a video on the Internet Service areas impact as a result of Irene.

You data center operators probably breathed a sign of relief no data centers were impacted.

Major Data Centers Weather Hurricane Irene

August 29th, 2011 : Rich Miller

Most major data centers appear to have remained online throughout Hurricane Irene, despite leaks and utility outages (Image by likeablerodent via Flickr).

Key East Coast data centers say they weathered Hurricane Irene without any loss of services to customers. In some cases, facilities are operating on generator power after utility outages, while other data centers had to plug minor leaks.

But as the video showed and Renesys discusses in their blog post, there were millions without Internet access during Irene.

Hurricane Irene knocked out power to millions of homes and businesses as it travelled up the US East Coast this weekend. Even as the winds subsided, torrential rains triggered savage flooding throughout Eastern New York state and Vermont, tearing up roads and exposing the telecommunications infrastructure to further risks. The storm's impacts were clearly visible in the Internet's global routing table, as tens of thousands of networks were cut off from the rest of the world.

You can see what happened in NC and DC



And, even though the VA based data centers may be operating. Check out the Internet access for the users in VA.


The author of the post goes on to discuss the importance of Twitter in the emergency situation.

Staying Connected, Preparing to Rebuild

Overall, it seems that the East Coast's power and Internet infrastructure fared pretty well during this storm, with good evidence of restoration after the storm had passed. This is good news, given the important role Twitter now plays in ad hoc rescue coordination, and the importance of the Web for keeping people informed about what they're facing in an emergency situation. I suspect that always-on, ubiquitous Internet access is going to fundamentally change the way people on the ground manage their affairs in the wake of disasters like Irene.

I spent 12 hours picking my way across the ruined roads and bridges of Eastern New York State yesterday, trying to get back to New Hampshire, and I can attest to the fact that the transportation network is now far more vulnerable to disruption by an event of this scale than is the cyber-infrastructure.

As we drove past legions of idle 18-wheeler trucks full of food and fuel, unable to reach their destinations, 3G mobile connectivity kept us connected to the Internet and in touch with the tweets of local emergency management officials and people back home. At one point we were even part of a stream of vehicles heading urgently for higher ground, following a report that the Gilboa Dam had failed. Thanks to Google Maps we knew where to climb to, and thanks to Twitter we knew when it was safe to come down again. You can't eat the Internet, or burn it to keep warm, but compared to the days of the transistor radio and EBS alerts, we've come a long way.