3 Noteworthy Data Center Disasters and How To Avoid Them 

October 17, 2015
Cloud , Colocation
Deluxe company -

The cost of a data center outage can impact the financial bottom line of your organization. When you have a data center disaster recovery plan in place, you can begin building out your infrastructure with confidence. When you colocate your servers, you can put your confidence in an industry certified data center that is rated to withstand many of the common disaster recovery scenarios. Here’s a few data center disasters that have happened in recent years:

NSA Data Center Impacted By Electricity Surges

The notorious Nation Security Administration data center in Utah was hit by 10 electricity surges in 13 months. Each outage cost the agency up to $100,000 per incident. This unique disaster scenario in the NSA Utah facility remains one of the most talked about data center disasters up until this day. A Business Insider article mentions that the engineers at the Utah facility were unsure of the root cause of each incident. Power surges can impact the integrity of your data. Some experts speculate that the servers which held sensitive data could have potentially become impacted although whether or not data loss actually occurred is unable to be determined.

Amazon EC2 and Microsoft’s Data Center Outages

amazon-down | Deluxe company Lightning isn’t supposed to strike twice, yet in the case of Amazon and Microsoft, lightning can certainly strike in two places at once. That’s exactly what happened in Dublin, Ireland back in August 2011.

Data centers of Microsoft and Amazon were hit by the same lightning storm which impacted both services ability to provide services. In fact, backup generators were rendered useless as a result of the violent storms. As per the Amazon spokesperson, a fire ensued because of the lightning attack and it resulted in complete power outage. Websites using Amazon’s Elastic Compound Cloud (EC2) were affected. As a result of the lightning strike, Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite went offline for some time.

The Yahoo Data Center disaster of 2010

When you build your data center, you must try to prepare for the unexpected. Did you know that Yahoo’s data center suffered an outage in which 50% of its Santa Clara data center was rendered useless due to a squirrel?

Although the exact cost of the loss incurred by Yahoo is unknown, experts believe that the amount must be staggering. Given the fact squirrels can chew through just about anything, it’s incredibly plausible that a squirrel could be the root cause of your data center operations grinding to a halt.

The end users that beared the brunt of the outage were those who used Yahoo Mail. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer was forced to tender a written apology describing the data center outage issue as a complex, once in a lifetime type of outage.


Jon Biloh
Jon Biloh

As president I'm responsible for developing and executing our global strategy, generating new business opportunities, enhancing the customer experience and ensuring that ColoCrossing provides world class service!