Several well known and very popular web sites went down today due to a power outage at a major data center in San Francisco. The web sites taken off line include Netflix, Craigslist, Technorati and several others. Interestingly, the home page of the data center, 365 Main says “…featuring 24/7/365 power, cooling, connectivity and security capabilities to ensure mission-critical operations and business continuity for tenants.”
This incident points up a couple things. Even major tech companies are vulnerable to service failures and the greatest connections to the Internet mean nothing if you don’t have power. Failsafe electrical power sources are critical. So, as we move forward on getting a second fiber line built (ironically, probably strung along PG&E towers) we should start looking at the power infrastructure just as critically. California already has a fragile power grid. And Humboldt County’s power can be blown down by a little high wind. Our Economic Deveolpment folks might want to put some focus on this issue.
Update:Â This SFGate article has more information on the power failure. Apparenlty it was initially at PG&E power outage. But the data center failed to have it’s back up power kick in for over 45 minutes. Some servers then took as much s 11 hourse to get back up and running.
I’m amazed the internet is as resilient as it is. There are so many things that can go wrong:
Individual computers can go down for any number of reasons. Power can go down somewhere along the line. Fiber optic lines can break anywhere along the line.
Yet with all the things that can go wrong, for the most part, everyone manages to stay online and the system keeps on working.
That said, I went into Provident Credit Union yesterday. Their computers were down and had been down since sometime the day before. Wonder if that was a result of the power outage?