outage and human error

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Web Hosting said human error was responsible for a data center power outage that left more than 1,100 customers without service. The downtime occurred as the company was conducting preventive maintenance on a UPS system in the company’s data center in Newark, Del.
“An incorrect breaker operation sequence executed by the servicing vendor caused a shutdown of the UPS plant resulting in loss of critical power to one data center suite within the facility,” said CEO Art Zeile in a statement. “This was not a failure of any critical power system or backup power system and is entirely a result of human error.” outage and human error suffered an outage early Friday morning knocking out more than 1,100 customer Web sites, some for as many as five hours. The outage raises the issue of whether CIOs should pay hosting sites for backup—an investment that some of them are reluctant to make.
The episode began after midnight Friday after an engineer performing maintenance at a server site in Newark, Del., mistakenly cut the power to the facility, according to CEO Art Zeile. Though the power loss lasted only minutes, the company needed to restart servers, extending the time customer sites were down. The company provides cloud-based and managed hosting for customer Web sites, applications and data.
Zeile said 1,147 customers were affected – the average time down was an hour, though some sites were down for hours longer. The Denver-based company offers a backup option, but few customers, at the affected location, had elected to purchase it, Zeile said.
“A lot of customers look at the cost and say the risk is so low why should I bother?” Zeile said. The backup option costs are generally an additional 30% of the regular hosting costs, he said.
The outage underscores the cost-benefit analysis that CIOs undertake when it comes to decisions about paying for hosting backup. CIOs need to determine which areas of a company’s site are mission critical. If the cost of a temporary outage would be higher than the cost of backup, they should make that additional investment, said Stephen Hendrick an analyst at IDC.
In this outage only several dozen companies had paid for the backup option, Zeile said. attempted to contact those customers, but the ones they reached chose not to activate the backup option, because they believed the problem would be short-lived, Zeile said.
Michael Sammut, owner of a Charlotte, N.C.-based Web development company Four Eyes Production, said his site was down for almost five hours during the outage. He said he may consider purchasing the backup option in the future, but he’s reluctant to make the investment.
“They’re asking for extra money based on incompetence,” Sammut said.
Zeile said the company makes every effort to secure its servers.
“It’s inevitable that human error will sometimes take place,” Zeile said.

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