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The most common Force Majeure situations in data centers of hosting providers

Fire, perhaps is the most popular of unexpected data loss reasons. Despite the all fire-fighting measures, hosting data centers burned, burn, and will continue to burn. The only question is the scale of damages. In high class hosting data centers, each server rack has its own fully isolated space with independent cooling system and fire extinguishing. Even if something burns, outside server rack the fire will not pass.

But in some data centers stands are completely absent. It is the main reason why such data centers burn very quickly. Nothing prevents fire spread to all hangar. Fire can occur anywhere, and no matter what super reliability the data center promised to you. In July 2012 in Canada, the explosion and fire damaged all the infrastructure which served as data center to many government information (information about driver's licenses, car registrations, licenses for hunting and fishing, as well as medical information - medical history, plans and procedures, etc.). Fortunately, they preserved backups. In August 2013 in India, a fire destroyed the servers which contained personal information of 1.2 billion citizens, collected under a government project.

Therefore, many large hosting companies even prohibit smoking or carrying lighters and flammable objects near the premises where there are located data servers. Many companies just prohibit to its employees to smoke or buy cigarettes online to reduce the risk of fire and to raise labor productivity (many smokers even are dismissed).


29-30 October 2012 Hurricane Sandy reached the coast of the United States. Data centers in New York and New Jersey were prepared to take the disaster blow: they stockpiled a fuel for generators, agreed about its urgent delivery, trained attendant teams for security reasons. They were prepared for possible power outages that often accompany hurricanes. To what they were not ready, is flooding. In many data centers, placed in a flood zone had backup generators, fuel tanks and pumps for them, and sometimes also communication hardware located in the basement floors. When came a "big water", all that remained to engineers on duty - to shut down all equipment and disconnect all generators.

By the way, this is not the single case of flooding. In September 2009 due to heavy rains, the server racks of Vodafone operator in Turkey had all lower equipment, float in water, and in July 2013 on the technical ground in Toronto, where were hosted more than a hundred and fifty different providers, due to heavy rains and related power outages experienced failure of cooling systems.

Unfair cooperation

Such cases are extremely rare, but still happen. In 2010, due to a conflict between "Makhost" and "Oversan-Mercury" a large number of servers have been disconnected from the network. Of course, each company tried to prove their innocence and accuse their opponent, but their customers whose sites "died" through the fault of these squabbles, were completely not satisfied with these "battles".

The reasons of other Force Majeure situations may be more exotic: military action or special political regimes established by the state, terrorist attacks, earthquakes (by the way in a seismically unstable areas are used special technologies that improve the chances of data equipment survival). I think if to search carefully, you will can find at least one article about real cases of these Force Majeure situations.

Therefore it is always worth to make secure and don't hope that your information is 100% protected from any situation, ranging from virus penetration and ending the invasion of Brazilian butterflies.


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