October 29 was a Monday. It was also the day that Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York City. Around 7 p.m., Con Edison shut power off in Lower Manhattan, and it would be sometime Saturday before lights would begin to flicker back on.
Three days into Mother Nature’s metaphoric wedgie, the party was just getting started for data center operator Zayo (zColo). So far they had managed to stay online without major incident, but now the generators were acting up, and it was determined that load needed to be shed or they would lose the entire operation. The decision was made to shut down portions of the cooling system … and soon after, thermal runaway was underway in the data halls.