Here are some of the craziest reasons for data center outages.

1) Squirrels

These nut-cheeked, bushy-tailed rodents chew through cables like Willy Wonka’s Violet chews through gum. At one point, Level 3 Communications actually attributed 17% of fiber cuts to “squirrel chews.”


Who, me?

Image: Dan Leveille

2) Hunters

Bored hunters have been known to use fiber as target practice. A few years ago in Oregon, Google had to move its fiber underground because people kept shooting down their fiber insulators.


This hunter’s on PETA’s Nice List.

Image: Steve Maslowski

3) Snowmageddon et al.

Spoiler alert: storms can be a big threat to poorly-planned data centers. In 2012, 80-mph storm winds knocked out Amazon’s power twice in one month, taking Pinterest, Instagram, and Netflix down with it.


“For the last time, Grandma, I don’t need a coat!”

Image: Woodley Wonderworks

4) Poor anchor management

Undersea Internet cables are tough, but they’re not tougher than multi-ton anchors. In 2008, a ship’s anchor caused service issues in Dubai when it sliced through cables on the seafloor.


Sinking the Internet.

Image: US Navy

5) Curiosity

In 2000, a junior data center tech decided to see what would happen if he pressed a big red button. The emergency power shutdown cost the Charlotte data center millions in lost revenue.


Curiosity killed the cat…and the data center.

Image: Ren and Stimpy

So, how do you prepare for an outage?

  1. Use ServerCentral’s backup and recovery service.
  2. Eat a sandwich because you’re done here.

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