ClientWhys Hosting Hurricane Update - Rackspace Report

As hurricane Sandy starts to move ashore and disrupt commerce on the east coast, our email and hosting vendor Rackspace, has released an update on their Virginia facilities.  

The East Coast of the US is expecting hurricane Sandy to make landfall early Tuesday morning October 30th. Rackspace operates two data centers in the Virginia area. As a consequence, we have activated our incident procedures in both data centers to ensure we are prepared. While, as a policy, we do not disclose all of our security or preparation plans, we wanted to share the following with you.

Power - Both data centers have redundant, back-up generators that come on-line automatically should power be disrupted. These generators are tested on a monthly basis and have just gone thru our quarterly preventative maintenance as well. We have over 2 days of fuel storage on site and contracts with fuel providers if we need to replenish our supply.

Networking - Both data centers have multiple Internet provider lines, which effectively distribute and balance traffic. If one provider experiences issues or is impacted during the storm, our Network Operations Center has the ability to filter traffic to alternative providers who have not been impacted.

Staffing - Our data centers have implemented staffing plans which take into account road closures and travel restrictions to ensure adequate Rackspace resources are on site through-out the event.

The single most destructive feature of a hurricane is the increased, sustained wind speeds. It is those winds that create the most impact to both structures and the power grid within effected regions. At present the current National Weather Service prediction is that Northern Virginia stands a 40% chance of experiencing tropical force surface winds; winds greater than or equal to 39 mph not to exceed 73 mph. Northern Virginia is not expected to experience hurricane force winds and the storm system will likely be sub-tropical upon arrival in Northern Virginia. Sub-tropical winds are those below 39 mph sustained.  

The potential rain produced by Hurricane Sandy will impact the Northern Virginia area with between 3-6" expected with up to 10" experienced in localized areas. Both the IAD1 (Herndon) and IAD2 (Ashburn) data centers are built on land that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rates as being above the 500-year flood marks for the area. Both the IAD1 (Herndon) and IAD2 (Ashburn) data centers are built upon high ground and are not in close proximity to areas that might experience water rise due to hurricane storm surge or areas prone to flash flooding.

Rackspace will be closely monitoring the hurricane as it approaches Virginia and will update you if any unexpected issues arise. If you have any further questions please contact a member of your support team.

The system is currently operating normally, with all systems live. For up-to-date Rackspace email status, visit

  • Lee Reams II

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