War for the Web
30 10.12

Hurricane Sandy and the Internet

As many of you probably know, New York City got hit with a pretty major hurricane yesterday. War for the Web is happy to announce that we’ve all survived, and we are obviously very concerned about our neighbors all over New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We hope everyone and their families is safe, secure, and if not with power, then getting it back soon.

Hurricane Sandy has been a disaster, not just for the Tristate, but for the Internet as well. A lot of Internet hosting takes place in downtown Manhattan. The incredible storm surge that caused the Hudson to overflow its banks, drowned cars in garages, flooded ground zero, and knocked out power to almost all of Manhattan south of 39th street, also managed to kill power to Internap and Peer1, two major Internet hosts. These providers obviously have generators, but in the aftermath of the storm, getting fuel to the generators has been a challenge as well, the same way it has been an issue to get fuel to the generators on the roof at Bellevue Hospital here in NYC.

As a result, websites like Gawker, Huffington post, and many others were down forĀ  several days. Obviously clean up is underway, and these hosting companies are working around the clock to dry out their equipment, get their generators back up and running, and get service working again, but it should serve as a pretty serious wake up call.

There are a bunch of other peering companies downtown, including Telx, Equinix, Level3, Comcast, Verizon, and even Google. Obviously these companies all have plans for dealing with the widespread power failures, but it’s important to emphasize that a massive amount of the Internet travels through these points, so if they didn’t have contingency plans in place, Internet access in New York City would really be in question.

Here‘s a memo from Internap to its customers discussing the outtages. Ars Technica also has more details on the outtage.

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