an over-the-top data center

Paul Cosgrove paul.cosgrove at
Tue Dec 2 11:18:56 UTC 2008

Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:
> On Mon, 1 Dec 2008, Deepak Jain wrote:
>> 3) No one cares if the server farm is blast proof (it isn't), if the 
>> connectivity in/out of it gets blasted (submessage: silos were meant 
>> to deliver one thing, datacenters aren't in the same operational 
>> model once they need connectivity to the outside world)
> It's much easier to restore fiber connectivity in a time of crisis 
> than it is to source hardware manufacturered at the other end of the 
> world and have this set up properly. I do think there is value in 
> keeping the hw safer than the connectivity to the outside.
> I bet the military or emergency services can establish a 10km fiber 
> stretch in a few hours. Replacing some telecom hw and set it up from 
> scratch would probably take weeks (I'm not talking about a single 
> router here).
Hi Mikael,

The speed with which fibre can be pulled will very much depend on the 
available paths and other resources.  It may be that the previous path 
of the damaged fibre may now be blocked or otherwise unavailable such 
that construction work is required.

As you say it is likely to be more difficult to recover from a problem 
at a datacentre due to the greater potential for damage and diversity of 
resources required.   The point has already been made that not all 
customers may be able to avail of site resilience due to the associated 
cost, and so may be reliant on the one datacentre.  In addition one 
thing which I do not think has been mentioned is that damage to a 
building may make the site unsafe and possibly injure staff; perhaps 
causing planning, coordination and implementation of site recovery to be 
considerably more complicated than simply replacing equipment.

Most customers would not be willing to pay extra to get hardened 
datacentres, so despite the complexities of recovery Deepak is largely 
right when he said that no one cares about blast proof server farms, at 
least in the peaceful parts of the world.


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