2013 Data Center Outage Highlights

reddit-down-awsAs someone who works in the data center business it’s never good to talk about outages. Sure you can say something about a competitor and problems they may have had but overall that comes of rather poorly and unprofessional. Why? Because the data center business is technology and as those of you reading this who work in any aspect of technology knows, stuff happens.

Redundancies are built in. Systems are monitored. Yet still there are outages that occur. Once again we can ask why and the simplest answer is that this is a complex business and, once again, stuff happens.

I worked for a company back in the late 90’s who is since LONG gone called PSINet. I remember the day well when we discovered that the words we used in our sales process that claimed we had “no single point of failure” were found to be untrue. We found out the hard way just what that one vulnerability was when a brief ‘brown out’ with the local power company triggered our back up generators just as advertised. Unfortunately, as the generators came on line so did the power at the exact same time. Not being very technical I was told (and it sounded plausible) that a switch was overloaded and fried when the two power sources hit the data center simultaneously.

No one planned for it because the chances were next to none it could happen but it did.

So if you are interested in seeing the top outages for 2013 as rated by the folks at Data Center Knowledge go right ahead. There may be some lessons to be learned.

In the meantime, if you are working with data center suppliers in a sales process and they delight in pointing the finger at something that may or may not have happened to a competitor, just remember that this is not a perfect science. What goes around, comes around and it may just be a matter of time for that company to have their turn.

Just sayin’. Karma is a ‘you know what’ when it comes to tech, wouldn’t you agree?