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Tokyo quake puts data centers, cloud services at risk

The disaster comes as many tech giants, including Amazon and Salesforce, were setting up data centers in Tokyo to meet demand for cloud-computing services.

Japan was reeling after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit the Northeast coast and also impacted Tokyo. As a result, much of the Pacific Ocean is under a tsunami -arning. The disaster comes as many tech giants were setting up data centers in Tokyo to meet demand for cloud computing services.

It's unclear how data centers are holding up. TV reports indicate that mobile services are up in Tokyo, but spotty.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit 130 km (80 miles) east of Sendai;178 km (110 miles) east of Yamagata; 178 km (110 miles) east northeast of Fukushima; and 373 km (231 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

ZDNet Japan has been posting the data center availability (Google Translate version). So far, NTT Communications appears to be the hardest hit. The company has lost its IP-VPN connection and was evaluating the building holding the data center.

NTT said in a statement:

March 11, 2011 (Friday) due to earthquakes in the Tohoku region around 46 minutes at 14, NTT Communications (abbreviation: NTT Com) has failed in some of our services. The current situation is as follows at 17. To our customers, we have to put you to trouble and inconvenience, I apologize.

Amazon Web Services indicated that services are continuing. Amazon just launched its data center in Tokyo. is also indicating that its Japan and Asia Pacific instances are up. Salesforce expects to complete its Tokyo data center this year.

ZDNet Japan has rounded up various disaster recovery issues resulting from the earthquake (translation). CNET Japan also has links to resources (translation).

This recap is just the IT side of the equation. The far larger issue is securing a nuclear reactor at the moment.

In addition tsunami warnings have been issued for the Pacific coast. The first waves are expected to reach San Francisco about 8 a.m. PT.

Read more from Larry Dignan at ZDNet's Between the Lines.