India, one of the hottest economies in the world, became a victim to a massive power outage last week, effecting 620 million people. That’s the equivalent of the populations of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. And, all of Central America, too. Throw in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. (Still not enough? Really?) Anyway, a lot of people.
Speculation as to the direct cause of the electrical grid flat line still stirs. While not the typical outage we reference, this two-day power outage is the perfect example of just how many critical industries can be affected by an outage. Hospitals in the dark, trains stopped, miners below ground and businesses shuttered across the region.
While some were lucky to be located in the western and southern parts of the country where the outage did not reach, others were prepared with backup generators that allowed operations to continue. Microsoft, Dell and Infosys operations in India were unaffected. Lucky for them!
An outage like this is not dissimilar to a cloud services outage. Many businesses in many places suddenly thrown into the dark, at least as far as IT operations go and the critical applications they support. Even on the scale of individual data centers, lives could be on the line if a 9-1-1 dispatch fails. If a major retailer’s online site is suddenly shuttered customers may go to shop elsewhere.
For right now, the consequences of this outage in India are not clearly quantified. In what ways do you think businesses and the Indian government were affected by this outage and what short and long-term affects do you think will plan into the final evaluation of this outage’s cost? Please do share your thoughts in the comments section.
We’ve taken some of the coverage of this outage and included below:
From PC Advisor: India’s Massive Blackout Tests Outsourcing Providers
While the southern city of Bangalore remains the unofficial capital of India’s IT outsourcing industry, most major providers have operations in the northern metropolis of Delhi, and nearby Noida is home to the Indian headquarters of HCL Technologies and CSC as well as a major IBM Global Services data center.
From Bloomberg: Worst India Outage Highlights 60 Years of Missed Targets
India’s worst-ever power crisis is the legacy of 60 years of missed investment targets and on current projections fixing the nation’s electricity supply is still decades away.
The network in Asia’s third-largest economy loses 27 percent of the power it carries through dissipation from wires and theft, while peak supply falls short of demand by an average of 9 percent, according to India’s Central Electricity Authority. Some 300 million people, or one in every four, remain without links to the grid and the number will still be about 150 million by 2030, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
From ChannelBiz: Technology Companies Claim They’re Unaffected by Indian Power Outage
Despite the huge power outages across most of Northern India, technology companies operating in the country have said that it is business as usual. However, resellers have hinted that all may not be well. The power outages are said to have affected 600 million people, as well as shutting down rail networks, lifts and electricity sources.
From CNN: India Hit by Second, Even Larger Power Outage
India suffered its second huge, crippling power failure in two days Tuesday, depriving as much as half of the vast and populous country, or up to 600 million people, of electricity and disrupting transport networks. The first power grid collapse, on Monday, was the country’s worst blackout in a decade. It affected seven states in northern India that are home to more than 350 million people.