Last week, the eastern seaboard of the US was hit by Hurricane Sandy and I was interested to see what effect that would have, if any, on cloud services. We rely so much on the cloud these days for online storage, hosting and services.
For me, the disruption was minimal. I lost access to Trello, my project management app, for a short while one evening but it was back next morning having moved to Amazon AWZ and has remained online ever since.
Trello is part of Fog Creek Software and they are based in Manhattan. I was taken aback when I read the story of volunteers climbing flights of stairs with buckets of diesel to fuel the generators to keep the server going. Gawker and BuzzFeed also took a hit during the storm.
But does it have to be this way? I was surprised that businesses on the eastern seaboard hadn’t taken the precautions that us home PC users are continually urged to do – back up their computers and websites – and have a database redundancy plan, or site replication with co-located servers so that services continue uninterrupted from servers in areas not hit by natural disasters. Fog Creek have now done this with Trello.
The US is probably at the heart of the online world, yet in a country in the firing line from earthquakes, storms and flooding, you’d think that cloud-based precautions would have been in place on the eastern seaboard to cover server outages. Doubtless, as with all natural disasters, lessons will have been learned.