Superstorm Sandy knocks out data centers, causes major website outages after flooding NYC

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Data center providers worked feverishly Tuesday to maintain or restore power to facilities located in flood-damaged New York City and nearby New Jersey.

Websites like Huffington Post, Gizmodo, Gawker and New York City's government site went down Monday night after a storm surge caused by Superstorm Sandy flooded lower Manhattan, affecting data center provider Datagram, among others located at the 60 Hudson Street data center facility.

Power to lower Manhattan was cut Monday night by Con Ed to preserve the power grid as a storm surge up to 13 feet rolled across the city.

The sites are updating readers via social media outlets like Twitter. Gizmodo on Monday night tweeted that backup generators were being deployed to get the servers back up, but as of 10 a.m. Tuesday the site was still down.

"It was expected that streets closest to the East and Hudson rivers would be most affected," a Data Center Dynamics article warned early Tuesday. "The major connection hubs 60 Hudson Street and 32 Avenue of the Americas are within the affected area."

Zayo subsidiary Zcolo operates 60 Hudson Street and other facilities in the New York metro area. The facilities have diesel generator backups to supply power in case of a grid failure.

Data Center Knowledge reported Tuesday that diesel fuel pumps at the 75 Broad Street data center facility were affected by water flooding the basement, making it difficult for operators to refuel the generators. Internap and Peer 1, which operate out of this center, shut down operations.

FierceTelecom will provide updates on the condition of New York City data center facilities as they come in.

Update: Zayo is providing a network map overlay and service updates on its website. On its 60 Hudson Street facility, "Zayo experienced a brief deterioration in cooling capacity in the building meet me room, 19th floor suite, due to a failure of the building operated water cooling system which has since been resolved and the environment has subsequently returned to normal operating conditions.  All systems are currently operating normally with 22 hours of generator fuel reserves and the next refueling planned for tonight." The provider's facility at 111 8th Ave. is operating normally using the building generator system, which has 3 days of run-time estimated.

Zayo Manhattan colocation

A map of Zayo's Manhattan network and colocation facilities.(Image source: Zayo)

Telehouse Chelsea Center NYC

Telehouse's Chelsea Center facility remained operational during and after the storm. (Image source: Telehouse)

Carrier-neutral colo provider Telehouse America said Tuesday that its New York City facilities engaged backup diesel power ahead of the grid shutdown and that its Manhattan sites, 25 Broadway and Chelsea Center, were not operationally affected by the flooding. "Building engineers and equipment, at both Manhattan facilities, are engaged in mitigating this threat. The Teleport facility, on Staten Island, had no flood threat during this time," the company said in a statement. "All Telehouse NYIIX extensions have remained operational without any outages. Apparently some 111 8th Ave. NYIIX Customers did experience their own power problems there."

Update 2: Internap's NYM-EXT1 facility at 75 Broad Street was without power on Tuesday. "We have coordinated fuel deliveries and pumps, as well as engineers to fabricate pipe to bring the fuel directly to the generators on the mezzanine level," Steve Orchard, senior VP of Development and Operations, told customers. FierceTelecom will look for an update on the facility today.

For more:
- Fox News has this story
- Data Center Dynamics has this story
- and Data Center Knowledge has this update

Commentary: All news is local, especially during Hurricane Sandy

Special Coverage: Hurricane Sandy's aftermath

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