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Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?


A few years ago I was working at an SME in Shoreditch, which was, back then, an area notorious for its poor power supply and frequent blackouts...

We had just created a brand new infrastructure, and apart from mail (hosted by Google Apps), everything was hosted on-site in the same office as where the employees were working.

One day I had a call - everything was offline! So I rushed in, and the situation was very odd...

Seemed that there were two power feeds coming into the building, and the consequence of this was that there was power to the comms room (thankfully), however our actual office had no electricity whatsoever (was on a faulty EDF feed), and according to the building management there was no way of routing the other feed into our office (it was a managed office). Subsequently, we (~40 staff) had to set up camp in a shared meeting room which did have power, since EDF told us that the issue wouldn't be resolved for 24-48 hours! The issues here were: we didn't have Wi-Fi, there were only a few ethernet ports in the meeting room, there were about 8 mains sockets AND... Only around 10-15 staff had laptops!

All we could do was patch our core switch down to the meeting room, daisy-chain a ton of extension cables, and then also daisy-chain a few 4/8-port switches!

That was a really grim two days, although we were SO lucky that the servers still had power.

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