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5 Odd Excuses for Data Center Outages

I Googled "craziest data center outages." The results did not disappoint.

1) Squirrels

These nut-cheeked, bushy-tailed rodents chew through cables like Willy Wonka's Violet chews through gum. In 2011, Level 3 Communications attributed 17% of fiber cuts to "squirrel chews."

Who, me? Who, me?

Image: Dan Leveille


2) Hunters

Bored hunters have been known to use fiber as target practice. A few years ago in Oregon, Google had to move its fiber underground because people kept shooting down their fiber insulators.

hunter shoots down fiber cables This hunter's on PETA's Nice List.

Image: Steve Maslowski


3) Snowmageddon et al.

Spoiler alert: storms can be a big threat to poorly-planned data centers. In 2012, 80-mph storm winds knocked out Amazon's power twice in one month, taking Pinterest, Instagram, and Netflix down with it.

"For the last time, Grandma, I don't need a coat!" "For the last time, Grandma, I don't need a coat!"

Image: Woodley Wonderworks


4) Poor anchor management

Undersea Internet cables are tough, but they’re not tougher than multi-ton anchors. In 2008, a ship's anchor caused service issues in Dubai when it sliced through cables on the seafloor.

Sinking the Internet. Sinking the Internet.

Image: US Navy


5) Curiosity

In 2000, a junior data center tech decided to see what would happen if he pressed a big red button. The emergency power shutdown cost the Charlotte data center millions in lost revenue.

Curiosity killed the data center. Curiosity killed the cat...and the data center.

Image: Ren and Stimpy


So, how do you prepare for an outage?

  1. Use ServerCentral's backup and recovery service.
  2. Eat a sandwich.
Topics: Disaster Recovery