Feeds

New York tech firms form 'bucket brigade' to fuel flagging servers

Shifting fuel 17 floors up by hand

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Three technology firms have joined forces to avoid any data center downtime in the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy amid the continuing power outages crippling Lower Manhattan.

Employees of Peer 1 Hosting, blog host Squarespace, and Fog Creek Software have formed a 'bucket brigade', lugging diesel up to the backup generators located on the 17th floor of the 75 Broad Street offices in which they are based. So far they have proved successful – Peer 1's servers are still rolling, the only one in the building still to do so.

"Bucket brigade going strong. We’ve gone through half of our morning fuel delivery and are expecting a truck with 5,000 gallons coming at noon. Potential issues are lack of bucket brigade manpower into the night, and our fuel pumps burning out," said the Squarespace blog. "Spirits are strong and everyone from Peer 1, Fog Creek, and Squarespace is working together."

The generators for the servers are high up in the building, safe from damage, but the company's problems stem from the fact that the fuel reserves and the equipment to pump the diesel upstairs are located in the basement and were disabled by flood waters. The firm is dependent on fuel trucks unloading what the generators need in 55 gallon drums and then lugging it upstairs on muscle power alone.

Fuel buckets

Workin on a chain gang...

With the storm largely past, work is now beginning to pump out water from the basement of the building, but it seems that the damage is more extensive than first expected and a water main may have ruptured. Certainly attempts to pump out the basement water and get the fuel pumps working are failing so far.

Peer 1 appears to be the only hosting company still capable of offering a service below 34th Street, but that situation can't last much longer. The site is totally dependent on regular deliveries of fuel and having enough manpower to get it upstairs, and both can't be sustained indefinitely.

"This situation is untenable. We can’t keep manpower going 24/7 for days," Squarespace warns. "The building’s first attempt at an alternative method for pumping fuel to the 18th floor has failed, as the fuel pump wasn’t powerful enough. They believe they have sourced an alternate pump, but given the situation in New York City right now, we’re in a wait-and-see posture. Fuel- and water-pumps are in short supply." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.