Customers Stayed Online During Boston Power Outage


The power went out in Boston this week. And our data center customers never noticed a thing.

The Boston Herald reports that customers in Somerville, Charlestown and Cambridge, Mass., lost power when a utility outage occurred at a local substation.  Workers were performing routine maintenance and putting transformers back into service when the electricity was interrupted to six electrical circuits.

Windstream Hosted Solutions has a data center in Charlestown…one where we recently completed a multimillion-dollar data center expansion project.  So, when the power was cut, we knew exactly what to do.  And so did the infrastructure we’ve put into place.

Immediately, our Automatic-Transfer Switches, at the Windstream Hosted Solutions data center, sensed the loss of utility power and fired up our on-site emergency backup generators.  Our uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems kept the critical load up and running via battery power.  Our generators were fully operational within 10 seconds, running at full speed, and the ATS system switched them over, automatically making them the primary power source. 

The local utility restored power to our data center within five minutes, but the ATS system kept the generators running for an additional 25 minutes to ensure the utility was stable.  Then, they automatically switched things back, and everything was restored to the way it was before the outage. 

In all, this was a textbook example of why we’re able to guarantee 100 percent uptime to our customers.  Everything worked the way it was supposed to work, and that didn’t happen by accident.  We have an entire team of professionals at every one of our data centers who regularly test and maintain all of the systems that anticipate the worst.  From making sure the ATS system is both functional and vigilant, to routinely powering up the generators, as well as monitoring every functionality throughout the data center…it’s our job to make sure that when something goes wrong, we’re there to ensure that our data centers and our customers’ access to the information that powers their businesses, are consistently available.

Jim Owen, our manager of the Boston data center, put it really well.  He said, “When the power goes out, our customers don’t care.  They just want consistent performance, not excuses.”

That’s what they got:  Consistent performance.  No excuses were needed.  And that’s the way it should be.