Hurricane Sandy may impact Internet users in Tenn.

Hurricane Sandy may impact Internet users in Tenn. (Image 1)

Hurricane Sandy may be felt in Nashville and throughout Tennessee in a way most would not think about – the Internet.

Large online companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon have data centers along the eastern seaboard and should the storm take those centers out, it will be felt by customers of Netflix and other online services.

Steve Brugman is president and CEO of The Nexus Group, a data center in Nashville.

“Everybody needs to communicate with other businesses through the Internet or point to point connections and typically those connections are through a data center,” he explained.

Brugman continued, “If indeed those large organizations, Amazon and Google [and] maybe even some banks, that don't have redundant facilities that you may choose to bank with, if indeed they were to lose their primary data center and once again, it's less likely that a data center loses power, but its more likely to lose communication ability.”

One of Amazon's data centers has suffered from at least three outages in the past four months, two caused by summer storms that knocked out power in the Washington, D.C. area.

The outages affected Web sites and services such as Instagram and Netflix.

The company announced Friday that a data center outage last week affected a small number of customers.

Brugman added that these large corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars backing up data by basically copying it and moving it to other sites in other cities and states.

Backup generators are also used to keep the centers powered. Problems, he said, are more likely to occur through communicating with the data rather than the data centers losing power.

“Most data centers, ours included, have redundant power, so I lose connection to the power grid, but I have backup generators that would keep me up and running,” he told Nashville's News 2.

Brugman continued, “If that backup generators or secondary power source were to go down then you'd literally lose power and all that data in the data center would power off, pure and simple.”

In addition to causing problems online, Hurricane Sandy  has also forced thousands of flights to be canceled.

Experts also expect gas prices to increase nationwide.

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