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The Planet Hosting Had a Fire; Excellent Communications Throughout
Major Web hosting company The Planet is currently down and experiencing an outage due to a fire in their Houston data center. Craig has provided the following summary of the events:
- Electrical transformer explosion at ThePlanet’s Houston datacenter.
- 3 walls knocked down – but servers are ok
- Backup generators cannot be started due to fire safety concerns
- 9000 servers affected - over 7,500 customers.
- Countless third party services affected by outage
The latest update on their customer forums shows that they are in the process of turning the power back on and expect some pieces to be online within 3 hours of now (so by 10am Eastern). They are also working to get replacement equipment with their suppliers.
Hats off to the team at The Planet for keeping the forum thread regarding the fire and downtime current. One of the hardest things as a customer is to sit and wait for an update when a current incident exists. The Planet has been continuously updating the thread with information (even if it’s that there is no new information).
I’ve said for a long time that startups need status pages and The Planet shows you just how to communicate properly with your customers.
Update: 12:45am Eastern: The CEO update
Update: 11:30pm Eastern: No updates for approximately 3 hours. I am now receiving emails from very unhappy customers.
Update 9:00pm Eastern: They have some servers online (mostly backend) and are continuing to work to restore power. There are over 2,000 people at this moment browsing the thread on the forum. While some of it is due to a slashdot, you can see just how large this outage is.
Update 7:50pm Eastern: No real update as of yet, they have moved some DNS servers so propagation can take place quicker and they are working to restore power. Another update in hour we are told.
Update 6:00pm Eastern: Their test has begun and their forums are currently getting pounded as they are listed on Slashdot.
Update 2:00pm Eastern: Looks like sites are still down (e.g. Entrecard) – also note that in the comments, people are suggesting that the support at The Planet isn’t as good as it might look on the surface. The Planet says that at 5pm Central they will begin to turn power back on and check systems from there. It’s actually quite shocking that this story hasn’t made the news on more blogs – we will continue to monitor the situation.