Primus data centre knocked out again

10 08 2009

According to reports on Broadband News website Whirlpool, the iPrimus data centre at 55 King Street Melbourne was crippled over the weekend due to a now all to common data centre blackout.

Whirlpool says:

The power dropped around 3:45PM and caused Victorian and Tasmanian customers from ISPs such as Exetel, iiNet, Internode and Netspace to lose their broadband connections.

Internode was able to route around the problem by 4:15PM, while the other ISPs were back online around 5:30PM.

In a notice to customers, Primus blamed “high tension fuses in the CitiPower substation feeding our Data centre”, which it said was the same issue affecting power in February.

Backup diesel generators “failed to start due to a synchronization processor failure.” According to the notice, works to upgrade the substation that failed were already planned for next weekend.

With a recent outage in February 2009, one would have thought that Primus would have been more proactive in avoiding a repeat of the previous disaster.

The outage provides a timely reminder for companies with critical data centre need to ask their data centre provider simple questions such as:

  1. what redundant power arrangements are in place ?

  2. how often is the power redundancy system tested ?

  3. is there a meaningful SLA to give some level of assurance, and financial compensation if the worst does happen ?

These are some simple yet important questions to ask, if your data centre provider cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, then you should consider whether they are the best provider for your mission critical hosting requirements.

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