The tubes, they are clogged.

A major power outage in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood this afternoon brought down many web sites including Technorati, Livejournal and Craigslist.

Now I know my readership and I know very few of you were affected by this. The event has caused quite a commotion amongst some online communities and yet the irony is some people weren't able to write about it. As of this writing, most of the sites are back up; Livejournal being the exception I found so far. I have an LJ page but I haven't used it in years.

Here's an amusing newscast from The Onion.

What cracks me up about this whole thing is the seeming lack of battery back up. I'm fairly sure these are not all run out of people's basements and garages and they all just happen to live in the same area. More than likely all the servers for these sites are sitting at one maybe two possibly three collocations in their own little racks. I mean, it probably doesn't take much for a site like Craigslist to run; it's just a message board. I could run one of those off a machine I have at my house. It's the bandwidth these sites need more than anything, something collocations provide as part of their service. You put your server at a data center because they have fat pipes.

Which makes me wonder what happened to their battery backup? In just the last couple years, I've worked with companies that have made a point to have a power backup. One company had a UPS so large it wouldn't fit up the elevator, and that was a relatively small day trading firm. Where I work now has a backup that sits on it's own circuit and a cabinet with like 10 car batteries. There's enough power to run all the servers for at least a couple hours. The biggest problem is a server room without AC for any length of time. Are these sites really running without backup? What about the data centers, isn't that one of their selling points?

I don't know. I thought it was an interesting way to spend the evening; watch the Daily Show and write about nearly meaningless crap.

Carry on.

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