Posted June 2, 2008 6:31 pm by with 24 comments

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Data center and hosting provider The Planet is in the process of trying to recover from a fire which has crippled their H1 data center in Houston, TX.

According to an Intology article, nearly 9,000 servers at the facility are currently off line. The Planet engineers are working with the Houston fire department to get clearance to restore emergency backup power and get servers back online.

Since The Planet is a provider of a variety of shared hosting and dedicated server products, I can only imagine the number of websites that may be affected by this outage.

The Planet customers seeking information about this outage can read more at The Planet’s forums.

If you’re not a customer, count your blessings and back up your websites. Experiencing a major outage with your hosting provider is not a question of if, but when.

  • Rats, I thought this was going to be a rant about global warming and I was going to pitch in about how Utah has had a very mild spring with plenty of rain thus far.

  • was down all weekend as a result.

  • I heard it was an explosion. I lost most of my StatsCounter over the weekend. I think Woopra must be hosted at the same data centers, as I lost their stats as well.

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  • …and what I want to know is how the planet kept their site online?

  • Lea

    Yes, “round robin the dns” has been on the todo list for a while now, just haven’t gotten it together to do it and face the double work in updates 🙁
    But I guess it has to be done…

  • Well… this makes me happy I didn’t choose to bail on my host after a former acquaintance started working there.

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  • No kidding. Oddly enough, we used to house some personal servers there when we lived in Houston.
    On the bright side:
    1. When not burning The Planet was great and very secure.
    2. This situation makes it clear why you should have geographically diverse servers and replication turned on at all times.

  • Yeah heard it was a transformer blow out…nasty stuff if you ever see one (I saw the aftermath of similar when a fire sprinkler upstairs in a datacentre leaked water down the sealed cabling into a massive UPS system in the DC).

    I was missing Statcounter like crazy over the weekend.

  • Entrecard was down too. Affected a lot of bloggers site traffic… but also a good lesson not to put all your traffic eggs in one basket.

    Trisha Lyn Fawver’s last blog post..Win Fabulous Prizes!

  • Thanks, I’ll backup my site soon. Always be lazy with respect to essential things.

  • There’s an interesting lesson here for people who rely on suppliers for their disaster recovery. Most site owners (especially the smaller ones) expect sites to just live on forever, when there are scenarios like these which are just out of their control.

    It’s always good to have a plan B, regardless of how big or small you are.

  • Thought this was going to be an article on global warming!
    My site has not been effected I don’t think but I regularly backup my site for situations like this!


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  • This can really hurt a business, when a Webshop or a similar business is not available. I wouldnt even know how to setup my sites so that they can run from different providers. Do you do automatic backup and just switch the DNS entry when something happens?

  • Yesterday (singing)
    Yesterday, all those backups seemed a waste of pay.
    Now my database has gone away,
    oh i believe in yesterday.

  • Haha great song Information Man.

    This does show the importance of backing up regularly. Not just with websites but with your harddrive. I reinstalled windows but hadn’t backed up everything properly. Spent hours and money trying to get it back. Would have taken 5 minutes to simply back it up in the first place.


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  • Quite a few big companies host with them including entrecrad. Poor bloggers were all in panic when this has happened. It looks like everything is going to be back to normal soon.

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  • Good that this is being reported across the web, but how is this marketing related?

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  • David Vogelpohl

    @Jonathan_Dingman – If you don’t have a team of engineers who take care of disaster recovery, backup etc., it’s good to be reminded that things can and will go wrong.

    I’m also pretty sure that anyone hosting their site with The Planet during the outage felt it affected their marketing activities 🙂

  • I find it very funny that nowhere on their own site does it mention the fire at all. Kind of lame if you ask me.

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  • While I feel sorry for their clients who have been down, I don’t feel that bad for the company. We have large portions of their space blocked at our routers due to continued spam and other abuse that never seem to get resolved or dealt with.

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  • This is something that we all hope “never happens to us”. Hope everything is sorted, 9000 servers thats alot of business losses.

  • It’s a big average. I’m reconciliate with pevious author: alot of people lose their business.

  • It’s a big lesson for the members to periodictly back up their web site…Can’t imagine loosing alot of data.

  • Backup is great thing, but need also a reserve space on alternative hosting, to redirect your domains in critical situation. Different name servers helps your online business be a stable.

    > It’s a big lesson for the members to periodictly back up their web site…Can’t imagine loosing alot of data.