Hurricane Sandy stressed the Internet infrastructure in New York City and beyond on Monday and Tuesday. During the storm, data centers struggled to stay on-line, fighting power outages and connectivity issues.
While there were some outages, the major cloud providers held together pretty well, all things considered. Indeed, look beyond the pounding the storm gave the East Coast, and the upside is that these events can teach cloud computing providers how to stay alive when it really counts.
Sandy proved a few things to be true: The ability to predict the impact of the storm, and thus properly prepare made the difference here. The major cloud computing centers were braced for the event, perhaps moving processing to other centers out of the storm’s path on the high end. Or, on the low end, they just made sure the generators and backup Internet circuits were tested and ready to take over.
While Sandy did have an impact and there were some reported service disruptions, on the whole, the cloud computing data centers get an A- for both preparedness and management during the event. Lessons learned from Sandy will carry forward to the next catastrophic event, and I suspect the results will be just as positive. There is something to be said about trial-by-fire.