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A data center story for the ages: the fuel bucket brigade

Patrick Thibodeau | June 27, 2013
The effort to save a NYC data center following Hurricane Sandy is remembered in a new film.

One rule: "Go slowly, work safely, always have your flashlight," said Mazzei.

For 72 hours, the effort continued and the data center was able to remain in operation until a more stable fuel supply was established. For the future, one option the building owners are giving consideration to is putting submersible pumps that could continue operating in a flood, said Mazzie.

There were a lot of motivations at work in manning the bucket brigade. For customers, it was about keeping their businesses up. For the data center workers, it was about not failing.

No one is really taking credit for saving the data center.

Mazzei is very matter-of-fact about the effort, and describes it more as an organic process that developed on its own as ideas and processes emerged collectively.

His co-worker, Burns, a film editor who works part-time at the data center, said something particularly flattering about Mazzei. "It was just really important to not let him down, not because he was going to get upset, but because he never let us down," said Burns.


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