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ISPreview.co.uk Service Status Update – Downtime Apology

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 (7:03 am) - Score 671
maintenance

I’d just like to take a moment to apologise to our readers for ISPreview.co.uk’s recent downtime, which began late on Sunday night and lasted until Tuesday morning. Unfortunately the situation was out of our control and occurred when a fault struck just as we were in the middle of upgrading the web server.

A decision was taken last week to upgrade the server because the current hardware, especially the hard disk drive, was simply causing too many problems. It usually takes a couple of weeks for new hardware to be setup and made live and then the downtime is supposed to be almost unnoticeable (the old server would be mirrored until after the swap had been completed). On top of that we’re usually given warning about when this will happen.

Unfortunately in this instance nobody warned us that the host-side of the upgrade was due to take place on Sunday night, just as the majority of related front-line staff were being evacuated ahead of Hurricane Sandy. Yep, for some reason these are now based in the USA (east coast) instead of Europe where the physical server actually resides, go figure.

The lack of consultancy and admin staff meant nobody at the host was present to spot that the web server component wasn’t rebooting due to another fault and the mirrored site had similarly failed. After this it was just a matter of sitting around and twiddling our thumbs until the physical admin team resolved the fault and got the web server running again.

The last time we had an outage like this was about six years ago, it’s a rarity but such things do happen and in our experience nobody is immune. The devastation being broadcast in the media right now is a good indication of just why the necessary staff weren’t able to assist us, though we still don’t know why we had to go through the USA to get a problem with the EU server resolved. Multinational companies have unusual staffing structures.

Now back to work.. and oh god, there’s a lot of it.

PS – Thanks to all those many who flooded our inbox with offers of support and concern. Had no idea we’d be quite so missed 🙂 .

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar C Russell

    Glad you are back and doing such an excellent job! CR

  2. Avatar DanielM

    That what you get for using 1and1 mark, There useless.

  3. Avatar DTMark

    Did give me a chance to read some of the coverage on the self-proclaimed “UK’s largest *independent* (cough) broadband website”, though. Very funny. It’s like receiving a stream of subliminal messages.

  4. Avatar Mark

    Mark – Why do you use oneandone in Germany and not a UK based company? It isn’t even as if one&one are exactly that cheap, there are numerous UK dedicated providers that could offer a better service (Rapidswitch, Poundhost, UK2, Redstation to name a few…)

  5. Lots of reasons, not least that we’re used to all of 1and1’s many oddities and swapping 10 websites over to a new host would be a massive effort. I simply don’t have the time to keep the sites updated and do the swap. We’re talking 10GB of data here and 200,000 odd files, many of which have unique permissions and 1and1 friendly customisations.

    Also in my 15 year experience, of 20 different hosts, all have their own unique problems; not least because the market still lacks proper regulation. Even the best suffer issues and can fail to respond when a big problem strikes.

    I like our current server because 98% of issues we know how to resolve without asking the host but every now and again something crops up that challenges that. A better investment would be to ensure that the site is properly mirrored in order to better cope with future issues.

  6. Avatar zemadeiran

    I would image that shit, put it in a private cloud and BAM!!!!!!

    While smoking a fag…

  7. Avatar zemadeiran

    Anycast dns, geo dns, BGP floating ip’s, auto scaling load balanced vps’s,MySql auto load balancing……

    A few tricks?

    • Avatar DanielM

      Most of em yes. All can be done on a simple vps and dedi and colo. Clearly you have been speaking to a providers sales team for too long.

  8. Avatar Johno

    Glad to see the site back, Its been missed!!!

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