back to article Florence and the Machines: Data centers brace as hurricane smashes into US coast

Hurricane Florence has now landed on US soil, bringing 100 MPH winds, torrential rain, and claiming at least four lives. Many residents have fled, though some can’t – because they are keeping the area’s data centers up and running during the carnage. The Carolinas, on America's east coast, are studded with data centers full of …

  1. Michael Hoffmann
    Trollface

    Title...

    Whoever came up with that title at El Reg: I will find you, I will capture you - and I will make you listen to Shake It Out non-stop until blood comes out of your ears at every "oooh-wooo-oooh".

    1. illiad

      Re: Title...

      haven't you heard of this???

      https://youtu.be/PQZhN65vq9E

      a fitting tribute I think..

      NOW start thinking about your fav. band, beginning with G for the next one!! :)

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Carolina Triangle

    The NC Triangle region is inland in the center of the state and is major technology center. Its problems are more with creek and river flooding and with downed power lines than what hit the coast. Florence is a nasty storm because the flooding potential but probably not as bad as Katrina for outright damage. Florence made landfall as strong Cat 1 while Katrina was Cat 4/5; much more powerful winds and surge. So Florence will cause problems but probably not as bad as what could have happened.

    In the Southeastern and Gulf Coast regions of the US hurricanes are treated with a great deal of respect. Many of us have seen first hand the damage they can do even a couple of hundred miles inland more than a few times. Fortunately storm track predictions are accurate enough to narrow down the potentially affected regions fairly well. Part of the danger is the very strong winds and wind gusts can blow trees down. If they are strong enough they could destroy structures.

  3. frank ly

    Forewarned

    "We start raising awareness to upper management and tracking possible weather events."

    That seems to imply that upper management neded to be made aware of what was happening out in the wider world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Forewarned

      That seems to imply that upper management neded to be made aware of what was happening out in the wider world.

      Yes. In a well run company you don't have a dog and bark yourself, you employ trained professionals at the appropriate locations and seniority. And in this case its your senior ops manglers and DR team who will be tracking storm progress, the forecasts, and planning what to do. They'll be taking the decisions on moving staff out, of precautionary shutdowns, demand management, liaising with other DCs in the group, speaking to the power company and local authorities.

      The nominally more senior corporate managers are just that - they run the corporation not its operations; but for IR and common sense reasons they need to be kept informed, but image the mess they'd make if they were doing storm planning and DR.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Forewarned

        "but image the mess they'd make if they were doing storm planning and DR."

        Imagine the bigger mess if the need for storm planning and DR (and scale of such requirements) passes outside of their sphere of awareness. Such things then become casualties of budget cuts as "frivolous things we can do without"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it was built to survive a Cat 5 storm

    But if they use 10G networks it would need to survive Cat 6A...

  5. Florida1920

    I hate to say it

    But here's a case where corporations operate more efficiently than government agencies tasked with similar responsibilities.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I hate to say it

      "But here's a case where corporations operate more efficiently than government agencies tasked with similar responsibilities."

      I'm not sure "efficient" is the right word. Government can't be seen by the public to waste money preparing for something that may not happen (I know, I know, government waste!). Corporations can't be seen by shareholders to not protect their investments and profits.

      Imagine the outcry if government put 100's of people on stand-by, with more than needed fuel/water etc all placed ready to move at a moments notice and then the storm never hit, or was less than predicted. Or put the right amount of resources in place and then the predictions were exceeded? Corporations generally prepare for things to protect their income. Governments react to situations so as to minimise cost (not always realising that costs after the fact might be more than protection before the fact)

      1. illiad

        Re: I hate to say it

        The problem seems to be that the gov is very slow and dumb, due to low motivation...

        big corporations know that if disaster happens, they will lose billions, so make sure that does not happen.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I hate to say it

        "Imagine the outcry if government put 100's of people on stand-by, with more than needed fuel/water etc all placed ready to move at a moments notice and then the storm never hit, or was less than predicted."

        It may come as a surprise to the average American (or Brit), but sensible governments do exactly that vs kneejerk reactions that end up being too little, too late and full of political posturing. It's called "preparedness" and in regions with a history of such events sensible governments spend some time building up stocks of the necessaries in a fairly relaxed fashion for when fecal matter hits spinny thing.

        Sure, it doesn't make for drama-filled TV news and it's not a ratings winner - but it saves lives and is usually the cheaper option than paying inflated prices immediately before/just after a big event.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hate to point this out but....

      "Your datacentre is up? Whoopie-do unless I can access it and it hosts useful apps to the patient, they can get there, and someone can use it..."

      Those data centres are supporting business well outside of the storm zone. Not protecting them would cause the storm impact to be far, far more widespread, ie not just across the US but possibly affecting customers worldwide.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Hate to point this out but....

        "Those data centres are supporting business well outside of the storm zone."

        This is why you have multiple data centres and migrate your stuff outside of the footprint of the storm before it arrives.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The stars, the moon, they have all been blown out. You left me in the dark.

  8. David Hall 1

    Who did century link have to blow?

    Just OOI. Is that an advert for Century Link? El Reg couldn't find any other DC operators in SFO? No interest in comparing how different provides respond ? Just a puff piece for one vendor.

    Oh my. What has happened in Vulture Towers !

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Who did century link have to blow?

      "Just OOI. Is that an advert for Century Link?"

      No - although it would have been nice to have more operators in the story, they responded in time for the article to go up before the weekend.

      "El Reg couldn't find any other DC operators in SFO?"

      The hurricane is hitting the other side of the country - SF has nothing to do with it.

      "What has happened in Vulture Towers !"

      Sometimes we write positive things. Non-sarky articles aren't adverts. Anything that's paid for has 'Promo' on it and is very clear that it's an advert - it's usually plugging a webcast or event.

      In this case, Azure was knocked over by a tropical storm, a hurricane was incoming to the east coast, so we tried to get hold of a few DC operators to see how they were dealing with it.

      Sheesh. No pleasing some people.

      C.

  9. Craig 2

    Sounds like a lot of effort just to keep us entertained with cat videos...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022