Ivan Causes Downtime, Damage at Data Centers

Hurricane Ivan took a toll on data centers as it stormed up the East Coast of the U.S. last week, doing major damage to a facility near Washington, D.C. and also disrupting the operations of the U.S. government's retirement savings system. Ivan, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent years, also did extensive damage to Internet connectivity during its deadly march through the Caribbean.

On Friday night, a tornado spawned by the remnants of Ivan ripped the roof off a data center in Ashburn, Va. that housed the beta site of the online game World of Warcraft, which posted pictures of the damage. Water leaked onto the servers, forcing a shutdown of the system, which was still down early Monday. WoW recently announced a deal to host the site with AT&T, which has a data center in Ashburn's Beaumont Corporate Park.

The National Finance Center, which processes loans, withdrawals and fund transfers for the U.S. government's 401(k) plan, is scheduled to return to full operation today after as it halting some services when it evacuated its New Orleans data facility. New Orleans wound up being spared the full brunt of Ivan's wrath, as the storm came ashore.

Ivan is the fifth hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. this summer, following on the heels of Bonnie, Charley, Frances and Gaston. The National Hurricane Center has received a record 200 million visits already during September, but has experienced strong performance throughout.