As ConEd restores power, some New York data centers still on generators

Some major network and data center hubs back on utility power

5 November 2012 by Yevgeniy Sverdlik - DatacenterDynamics

As ConEd restores power, some New York data centers still on generators
One of the fuel brigades that kept 75 Broad running by carrying fuel in buckets to the 17th floor. Source: Squarespace status blog

Some data centers in New York City continued running on generator power on Monday afternoon local time, while the majority saw their utility feeds come back to life. Data center infrastructure in New Jersey had a similar status.

The majority of data centers in the region lost utility power last week as Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the US northeast the night of 29 October. While many transferred to generator power smoothly, the floods caused by the hurricane damaged electrical backup infrastructure in some facilities, leaving their crews scrambling to bring them back online.

The data center hub at 75 Broad St., whose tenants include data center services providers Peer 1 and Internap, continued running on generators as of about 1pm EDT on Monday, according to a status update from Peer 1 customer Squarespace.

“We are still operating off of generator power and are awaiting the arrival of the redundant truck-mounted generator, which we expect to come this evening,” the update read.

Squarespace employees, together with staff from Peer 1 and another tenant Fog Creek, kept the building powered via an onsite generator throughout the utility power outage by manually carrying buckets of diesel fuel to the generator on the 17th floor. The building’s own fuel-pumping system was damaged in the flood.

A data center operated by the internet service provider and hosting company Datagram was running on generators as of Monday (November 5th) afternoon local time. The data center was shut down completely Monday night, as the hurricane reached the East Coast and flooded electrical infrastructure in its basement.

The data center – hosting a number of popular websites, including the Huffington Post, Gawker and Gizmodo – stayed down until 3 November, when its technicians were finally able to plug it into a mobile generator that was delivered during the weekend.

Atlantic Metro Communications, provider of data center and connectivity services, reported that all three of its data center and network connection points in New York were back on utility power.

More than 80% of New Yorkers had electric service back, Con Edison, the utility serving New York City and the neighboring Westchester County, said Monday morning. Out of nearly 1m people affected by power outages, about 160,000 remained without electricity as of 10am.

Those remaining without power included 3,500 in Manhattan, about 40,800 in Queens, about 22,800 in Brooklyn, 15,000 in Staten Island and 6,700 in Bronx. The utility said it expected to restore power to most of its customers by the weekend.

Most of the data centers in neighboring New Jersey were back on utility power. DuPont Fabros Technology, provider of wholesale data center space, said on Monday its NJ1 data center in Piscataway, had its utility feed come back online on Saturday.

The facility had been running on generator power since Monday and transferred electrical load to back-up generators three times as a result of three separate outages during the course of the storm, the company said.

Equinix’ three data centers in Secaucus, New Jersey, were running on generator power on Saturday, according to the latest update from the company. The company did not respond to a request for an update on Monday.

Its other New York metro data centers were switched back to utility power. These included NY8 at 60 Hudson St. and NY9 at 111 8th Ave. (both major connectivity and data center hubs that had lost power last week).

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