Fasthosts knocked offline by stormy weather

One of the UK’s largest Internet hosting providers was knocked offline over the weekend after the stormy weather caused a power outage that left many customers without websites or email addresses.

Fasthosts’ service was out for much of Saturday due to an “external infrastructure error” that was caused by the bad weather with the company quick to dispel rumours that the data centres themselves were flooded.

“Earlier this morning, we experienced a brief interruption of primary power to our sites due to an external infrastructure issue. Our data centres switched over to UPS [Uninterruptable Power Supply] power whilst our backup generators started up for prolonged backup power,” stated a status update on the firm’s webpage, according to The Register. “Mains power to the site returned after a few moments, however although power was quickly fully restored to both data centres we experienced a network issue that occurred as a result of this interruption to service.”

The resulting network issue was what caused problems for customers over the next two days and saw the company inundated with phone calls that prompted it to recommend customers open support tickets instead of calling. This was compounded by the fact that the network problem meant that the firm’s communications system, which included the system status page, was unavailable.

When it came to any loss of data the firm reassured customers by issuing a further statement following the disruption.

“Customers can rest assured that back-ups worked fully and no data was lost due to this service interruption. We are confident that the root cause of the issue has been identified and mitigation activity is underway. All but a very few customers now have full performance restored,” read the company statement.

It took engineers most of the weekend to bring the servers back online and there were also problems with Exchange 2012 mailboxes that weren’t allowing customers to access email accounts over the weekend.

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