Digital Recovery

I have participated in disaster recovery missions (usually after the damage has occurred) in two different organizations, however they involved tangible assets, not digital ones. The “rescue” of digital repositories will play out more often in the future:

They call themselves “the bucket brigade.”

In a lower Manhattan building evacuated during Hurricane Sandy, more than a dozen people on Wednesday carried 5-gallon buckets filled with diesel fuel up 17 flights of stairs. Each of them carried two buckets — one in each arm — up two flights of stairs, then handed them off to the next person. The stairwell was pitch dark, slippery and reeked of diesel.

The diesel was powering a backup generator on the roof that fueled a data center run by Peer 1 Hosting. Inside, rows and rows of Peer 1’s servers provide the computing power for about 100 companies like Squarespace, a Web publishing software business, and Fog Creek Software, a company that develops tools for the software industry. Those companies rely on Peer 1’s data center to enable thousands of customers around the world to run their websites.

Now, to keep their customers online, these high-tech companies were relying on a very low-tech feat: carrying buckets of gasoline up stairs and pouring the fuel into a generator. The stakes were high: If the rooftop generator ran out of fuel, the servers would fail, and thousands of websites would go dark.


After Sandy Knocks Out Power, Rescue Keeps Data Center Alive –