Blame Murphy's Law, Excessive Hubris For Blackouts In SF

from the or-blame-the-PR-people,-your-choice dept

Lots of San Francisco-based web sites (Craigslist, Six Apart, Yelp, and Technorati, among others) have been experiencing some problems today, after power outages in the city took down 365 Main, a major hosting facility there. While the power company says it doesn't yet know what's caused the outages, we have a pretty good idea: a 365 Main press release that went out this morning, bragging about the two years of continuous uptime one of its customers has had since moving to the data center. And when these guys invoke Murphy's Law, they don't do it by half, either. The release also brags about the center's "unique billing system in which 365 Main only charges customers for the exact amount of power that is used" -- so presumably today will be free. But what really sealed their fate was this paragraph:
"To ensure uptime for key tenants such as RedEnvelope, 365 Main provides modern power and cooling infrastructure. The company's San Francisco facility includes two complete back-up systems for electrical power to protect against a power loss. In the unlikely event of a cut to a primary power feed, the state-of-the-art electrical system instantly switches to live back-up generators, avoiding costly downtime for tenants and keeping the data center continuously running."
Good to see those backup systems are working!

Filed Under: data centers
Companies: 365 main, redenvelope

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward Also, 27 Jul 2007 @ 12:04pm

    you think you're so smart...

    My DC has redundant feeds from the street, redundant pipes, racks and racks of backup batteries. Didn't do a bit of good when a huge spike came in off the street and *vaporized* the emergency switching gear. I'm not kidding.

    No batteries, no redundant grid, no amount of testing will guarantee a no-impact failover. I've seen multiple outages at multiple sites over 20 years. The answer is IT DEPENDS. With hugs power feeds it gets complicated fast.

    It is incredibly ironic that the PR folks put out a release like that the same day... but really, most hosting sites say the same kinds of things. You can take cheap shots if you want, doesn't mean you know anything. I often enjoy the hubris of the media!

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