Hurricane Sandy knocks out NYC data centers: Websites, services down

Summary:With Sandy raging into the east coast, many data centers in the path of the hurricane are forcing major websites, services and hosted apps to fall offline.

Screen Shot 2012-10-30 at 08.48.16
Image credit: Google Crisis Map

The worst storm to hit the eastern seaboard in more than 20 years continues to obliterate towns and cities in its path.

Hurricane-caused power outages have knocked much of the East Coast offline, but also preemptive substation shutdowns to prevent damage to electricity infrastructure substation equipment is affecting data centers and online services around the world.

New York City's Consolidated Edison has already shut down large portions of the power grid in lower Manhattan to prevent damage to underground equipment, leaving more than an estimated 1 million without power.

Within minutes, Gawker.com and technology website Gizmodo.com crumbled, saying a data center battery failure forced the sites to fall down at their lower Manhattan data center. Also affected was Buzzfeed.com citing similar problems, and LiveStream.com said it was experiencing a "major outage."

In spite of being on the other side of the Atlantic, many are affected by the outages. HuffingtonPost.com remains down for many, myself included, after the publication said it was experiencing "technical difficulties."

It could be more than a week until power is restored to portions of New York City. If you have a data center in downtown Manhattan, we can only wish you the best of luck in your recovery efforts.

We'll be keeping an eye on the status of Internet health in North America in the coming few hours and days. For instance, while Amazon's troublesome North Virginia data center is outside the direct path of the hurricane, it has been known to crumble even under lightly breezy weather.

While the rest of the U.S. outside the emergency zones may wake up today ready for work as the sun shines through the windows, many hosted and enterprise services will be down for much of the country.

Topics: Outage, Big Data, Data Centers, Data Management, Networking

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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