The Cloud in a Storm

Superstorm Sandy officially moved on to US shores on the night of Monday the 29th. Our hearts go out to everyone affected, and encourage anyone capable and willing to donate, to visit Red Cross’s website at RedCross.Org

Amidst my hyperbole 3 weeks ago jesting how ‘the cloud’ has become a huge buzzword, there is a much more serious and dark matter at hand: Hurricanes and storms consist of clouds that are quite real, and they can be quite a real threat to your Internet business.

Several major businesses that depend on their websites to run, crashed due to complications at their datacenter caused by hurricane Sandy. The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Gawker all went down. When your datacenter is literally flooded, the odds of your site continuing to run drop, dramatically. According to , a flooded Peer 1 datacenter had 25 people relaying diesel fuel up 17 stories to their generator to keep their datacenter online.

Even Amazon Web Services are no match for the angry clouds. In late June, according to , severe storms in the region caused power issues for Amazon’s servers. In this outage, huge businesses on Amazon’s servers experienced service outages, such as Netflix, Pinterest and even Instagram.

This info graphic from Mashable does a great job illustrating the impact a hurricane could have on the Internet: