Texas explosion takes Web servers offline

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 | 7:37 p.m. CDT; updated 9:14 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — An explosion on Saturday at Texas-based Web server provider The Planet put 9,000 servers offline, affecting about 7,500 customers, including MU student newspaper The Maneater.

The paper’s Web site is located on one of the servers that went down on the first floor, and as of Tuesday evening, the site was still offline.

Editor-in-chief Julia Phraner said she was frustrated but acknowledged there was nothing she could do from Columbia to speed things up.

“We have a paper coming out on Wednesday,” Phraner said, “and we need to update. It would be really great if they could figure this out.”

An electrical short in a main wiring center of the company’s H1 data center caused the blast.The H1 data center is one of two located in Houston and one of six in total. The company reported no data was lost from customer’s sites, but the servers could not be brought back online without sufficient power restored to both the first and second floor of the building.

There were no injuries reported in the incident, but reports published on The Planet's online support forum by CEO Douglas J. Erwin on Sunday described the damage as “worse than initially expected” when it was discovered that all underground power supply to the first floor of the building had been destroyed and would not be repairable without new equipment. The 6,000 servers on the second floor had power and were running by Monday morning. The company expected all servers to be operational by Tuesday night.

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