Nowadays, When Data Centers Go Down, the Whole World Notices

When public cloud or social media services go down, it's become popular to blame the "data center." Such was the case last week when the two popular social networking sites FriendFeed and Twitter experienced temporary blackouts. According to news reports, FriendFeed co-founder Paul Buchheit blamed his site's interruption on a "data center power outage." You may remember that when a major TV ratings organization offline a few months back, this was also blamed on problems in the data center. One newspaper columnist wondered out loud: "How can such critical facilities run out of juice? Aren't they supposed to have redundant power supplies to prevent blackouts, if one source of power goes out? It's one thing if a downed data center keeps you from Twitter-whining, it's quite another if it means you can't do business." Data center managers know Murphy's Law often rules in spite of the best-laid plans and redundant measures.

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