Hurricane Sandy threatens millions of websites : Blackout possible

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Movie : Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Datacenter outages may be inevitable

Hurricane Sandy quickly approaches the U.S east coast and data centers are preparing for possible power outages.

Just in the past few hours, reported power outages have spread in New Jersey, and power companies estimate that up to 10 million people could be affected in the next couple of days.

The entertainment industry is heavily reliant on online infrastructure for a wide variety of tasks from promoting movie titles to carrying out daily communication. Many millions of websites hosted on the U.S east coast are housed in a few large data centers, that will have to cope with a fierce hurricane.

However, despite the best preparations it is likely that data centers will experience difficulties as infrastructure is damaged from falling trees, and roads get blocked. As this is such a large storm in a densely populated area, it is realistic to forsee some kind of outage, because it will take time for crews to restore power and clear roads from debris.

Today, Amazon web services announced via their Service Health Dashboard that they were preparing for the storm, and stocking up on provisions such as generator fuel, flashlights and radios. Just this past week the service suffered technical issues forcing some top websites offline, but this time, external factors could force millions offline.

Will sites like Pinterest and Netflix become victims of the storm? We’ll soon find out.

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