July 8, 2013

On 8 July, Toronto’s colocation and connectivity infrastructure was affected by a rainstorm and subsequent flooding. 151 Front Street – Toronto (and Canada’s) primary inter-connection hub and carrier hotel – lost grid power for about two hours. The facilities in 151 made the transition to generator back-up with ease.

The same could not be said for the primary cooling system, which is based on the “Deep Lake Water Cooling Loop”, operated by Enwave (this system essentially uses the permanently cool deep waters of Lake Ontario). This system failed and, of the ~150 tenants in 151 Front Street, only a few (notably Cogeco Data Systems and Ehvert Mission Critical) had backup cooling systems to transition to.
Cologix and Equinix were amongst the CoLo providers that reported temperature increases in their facilities at 151 Front Street. Cologix was happy to report that its new facility at 905 King performed much better.
Cheverny views this as an example of the importance of redundant facilities in the enterprise market. Toronto is a growing market for CoLo and managed hosting. Not all clients seek, or are willing to pay for additional levels of facilities redundancy, but the top end of the market is likely to be conditioned by this outage and establish new expectations for infrastructure providers.