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After Sandy, Manual Labor Keeps Cloud Services Running

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Cloud is to see - never touch Cloud is to see - never touch

The whole point about cloud computing services that live on servers that customers never see, never touch, never think about is exactly that. The physical infrastructure is out of sight, out of mind, and customers focus on running their applications and using the services they provide.

But when disaster hits, when power fails followed by backup power failing, things get serious and physical rather quickly. That has been the case with Squarespace, an upstart Web site creation and hosting company based here in New York.


It has hosted its infrastructure with Peer1, one of a handful of companies affected by the flooding at 75 Broad Street. The short version of the story is that after backup generators kicked in, flooding overwhelmed the fuel pump.


CEO Anthony Casalena lives nearby in Soho and headed down to 75 Broad to see if he could lend a hand. Within hours he was pitching in with the staff of Peer1, manually carrying fuel to the generators, bucket-brigade style up 17 flights of stairs to keep them running. Staff from another company, Fog Creek Software, was also involved. The picture is of the “bucket brigade” from last night.

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