Fire takes down The Planet

by billso on Sunday, 1 June 2008

One of the country’s largest web host­ing com­pa­nies, The Planet, is still down after a fire knocked out their main data center’s trans­former. To their credit, Planet man­agers have been pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar updates on a web forum. Here’s update #2, which is a good example:

Today at approx­i­mately 5:45 p.m. [CDT], a trans­former in our H1 data cen­ter in Hous­ton caught fire, thus requir­ing us to take down all gen­er­a­tors as instructed by the fire depart­ment. All servers are down.

The Hous­ton Fire Depart­ment ordered Planet staff to shut down the data center’s elec­tric gen­er­a­tors. Approx­i­mately 7500 9000 web servers and 9000 7500 cus­tomers are affected.

One rea­son that I use to host is the incred­i­ble level of trans­parency that DreamHost pro­vides. DreamHost is employee-owned, which helps explains their report­ing pol­icy. I’ve never had a major prob­lem with DreamHost, but I know that I can check the sta­tus reports for the data cen­ter and most of their servers at any time, on the Web or with RSS

See Cen­ter Net­works for more com­ments about the Planet fire. I agree with Allen Stern — given the num­ber of servers and clients affected, I expected to hear much more on the blo­gos­phere this morn­ing. The out­age affects Planet’s Server Com­mand, Resel­lOne, and legacy EV1 customers.

The Host­ing News posted an excel­lent arti­cle on 29 May 2008 about sev­eral recently com­pleted projects at The Planet. It’s tempt­ing to think that this project and the fire are con­nected, but there’s no indi­ca­tion of that yet. The Planet used to be known as EV1. I remem­ber EV1 from from my years in Austin, when that com­pany offered cut-rate dial-up inter­net ser­vice and web host­ing. Their radio com­mer­cials were just awful.

The Reg­is­ter and Broad­band Reports have posted very brief reports, and here’s the Wikipedia page for EV1.

  • Car­los Urreta

    I have one of those servers that are down… small cor­rec­tion for the num­bers, it’s 9000 servers and 7500 customers.

    The­P­lanet, data cen­ter that is down, is one of the most pro­fes­sional hosts out there. They are not for the small one blog web­site, but rather power some of the largest sites on the net.

    The response rate was extremely ade­quate the hourly forum posts to keep us up to date is quite nice.

    The­P­lanet, despite their set­back has proved once again to be super professional.

  • billso

    Here’s an update via Cen­ter Net­works: recov­ery may take sev­eral days, accord­ing to The Planet’s CEO, Doug Erwin. He now describes the fire as “an explosion”:

    Three walls of the elec­tri­cal equip­ment room on the first floor blew sev­eral feet from their orig­i­nal posi­tion, and the under­ground cabling that pow­ers the first floor of H1 was destroyed.

  • Kar­lonia | Entre­card Fan

    This out­age at The Planet wound up affect­ing Entre­card, a pop­u­lar traf­fic build­ing and social net­work com­mu­nity for blog­gers. The site was offline for a lit­tle over 24 hours on Sat­ur­day and Sunday.

    For­tu­nately, it looks like Entre­card is back up and func­tion­ing pretty well now, so it seems that the out­age has sim­ply given us a one-day vaca­tion from our drop­ping rou­tines. For me this was a wel­come break because I man­aged to log in shortly after the site came back online and was able to scoop up some rel­a­tively inex­pen­sive adver­tis­ing deals.

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