Biggest Cloud Providers Ride Through Winter Storm Jonas Without Downtime

AWS, Azure, Google Cloud report no incident through the weekend

David Hamilton

January 25, 2016

2 Min Read
Biggest Cloud Providers Ride Through Winter Storm Jonas Without Downtime
A smiley sun is drawn on the snow in Lafayette Square January 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. Winter Storm Jonas hit the East Coast over the weekend, breaking snowfall records, causing 29 storm-related deaths, leaving thousands of homes without power and serious flooding in coastal areas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Cities on the north-eastern US coast are recovering from a massive weekend snowfall brought by Winter Storm Jonas, but the cloud infrastructure in the region powering websites and services appears to have been largely unaffected.

The service status pages for major cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platfrom, and Amazon Web Services didn’t report any disruptions to facilities on the east coast.

Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused several outages including flooding and generator fuel shortages at PEER 1’s facility and Internap’s Mahattan facility going down. In anticipation of winter storm Jonas, AWS has noted that this is unlikely to happen.

Read more: How East Coast Data Centers are Preparing for the Storm

“In the days leading up to a known event such as a hurricane, we make preparations such as increasing fuel supplies, updating staffing plans, and adding provisions like food and water to ensure the safety of the support teams,” wrote AWS’s Jeff Barr in a blog post. “Once it is clear that a storm will impact a specific region, the response plan is executed and we post updates to the Service Health Dashboard throughout the event.

It’s not just cloud providers that have had to reassure customers, but also companies that rely on on-premise data centers and upstream service providers to deliver services to their customer. This means having contingency plans in case something fails.

For many companies that have local data cached on-premise, critical data loss is a possibility. Companies like Panzura provide hybrid strategies that leverage cloud services from providers like AWS, Oracle and Google to ensure data isn’t lost during a storm.

etherFAX, a provider of a cloud-based FAX services, explained to customers in a blog post that their primary data center, located in a local Equinix IBX facility in New York remained up throughout Hurricane Sandy in 2012. If the Equinix IBX facility fails, etherFAX fails over to its redundancy site in Toronto within 15 minutes. They reported no downtime because of the storm.

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