Come On Irene: Surviving a Hurricane

As you may have heard, there's a hurricane (Irene) about to hit the east coast of the United States. We just got word from our data center in Ashburn, VA that they have taken precautions to help weather the storm. These include:

  • Backup generators have been tested, fuel tanks are full, levels verified, and backup fuel vendors have been placed on standby in the event of extended power interruption;
  • Special arrangements have been made to make sure staff are available on site as necessary to maintain operability standards;
  • Hotel rooms near the data center have been secured, and have brought in cots, MREs, and other emergency supplies, should the situation become extreme;
  • Leak diversion kits, sandbags, tarps, vinyl sheeting, are on hand with which to secure doors and windows; and
  • All drains and sump pumps have been verified as free from debris and in working order.

So that's reassuring, but, you know, it's still a freakin' hurricane!

Here's what I find more reassuring: CloudFlare is designed so that whole data centers can go down and the service will keep right on running. From the beginning, we architected our system to minimize single points of failure. We regularly take whole data centers offline without anyone noticing. Traffic flows immediately to the next closest data center and things keep right on rolling.

So bring on Irene. Our Ashburn, VA data center is better prepared than most, but even if it goes down, CloudFlare will keep traffic flowing. And, if you're hosted at a provider that is knocked offline by Irene (or anything else), we've got your back and will do our best to keep you Always Online™ even if your hosting provider goes down.

Finally, for CloudFlare users who are personally in Irene's path: heed the warnings, stay dry, stay safe... we'll watch your site.