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Force9 ISP Loses Customer Data

Posted: 17th Apr, 2005 By: MarkJ
Customers of UK ISP Force9 (PlusNet) have contacted us complaining of their anger after the provider was unable to restore lost user web space applications (CGI) following a storage failure.

Force9 had been attempting to "rebuild the storage platform that hosts the data for both the CGI and FrontPage websites.", unfortunately this went wrong and resulted in "multiple disk failures".

Efforts to resolve the failure were unsuccessful, leaving customers steaming:

After further analysis to access the data on the failed disk array, our Engineers have confirmed the severity of the multiple disk failures have made it impossible for the data to be recovered.

Typically many users will have operated their own CGI scripts, which have now been lost. One frustrated reader pointed out that Force9 had initially stated that a backup would be made:

As part of these preparations they are currently backing up all the data on this platform as a precautionary measure. This is expected to take around two hours to complete.

Unsurprisingly customers are left wondering why it has not been possible to use the backups. One user states:

I believe this may have mislead people into thinking that their scripts and data were in safe hand as force9 said they were backing up before starting work on the server. I myself didn't bother to backup as I was to busy at the time and two hours wouldn't have been enough time to have taken the email and do the backup myself.

The end result is that I have now several domains with page that do not display. I have tried to reinstall the web sites onto a quick fix server that force9 brought into service to overcome the problem but its now apparent that the setup of the new server isn't the same as the original one, Force9 are not answering my question via their customer support ticket system this is after 30 hours, how many others are in the same position is anyone guess, but I expect there are many.

All in all this is a disaster and may cost force9 dearly I have been with them for many years but I will be looking for a reliable ISP domain housing service in the very near future.

Thankfully the service has now returned to normal, albeit without data that should have been properly backed up.
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