Hurricane Sandy knocks down some websites, but most stay online
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Despite outages at a few well-known web sites and ripple effects that occasionally slowed communications around the country, the Internet came through the massive storm that swamped New York and New Jersey with relatively minor problems.
Built for resiliency and buttressed by the adoption of cloud computing, the Internet functioned largely as it was supposed to, industry experts said, routing around major disruptions in one of its central network locations, New York City.
You don't hear about big content providers going offline anymore, said Jeffrey Young, a spokesman for major delivery network Akamai Technologies Inc, which has servers spread among some 1,100 communications set-ups. We can route around issues that are occurring.
New York has two major exchange centers where U.S. backbone telecommunication providers meet data from undersea cables, said Doug Madory, senior analyst at Renesys Corp, which monitors Internet response times. A number of network addresses were inaccessible on Tuesday afternoon, including many in the New York area, and connection times for others were slower than normal, he said, but the disruptions were limited.
Still, a handful of popular web sites, including Google's YouTube, AOL Inc's Huffington Post, and the network of sites owned by Gawker Media, did experience outages.
Social news site BuzzFeed and News Corp's financial site MarketWatch were also reduced to bare-bones versions as they regrouped on Tuesday.
At least some of the problems were the direct result of data centers losing power and being unable to fuel their own generators because of flooding.
Most web sites use commercial data centers rather than running their own computer servers, in part to ensure security and stability in emergencies. Many of those data centers offer back-up services elsewhere.
But New York data centers, including Internap and Datagram, went down due to the power and flooding problems. BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and Gawker all crashed because of Datagram.
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