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Fasthosts downed by dicky Dell switch

UK website hosting cluster rocked by outage

Security for virtualized datacentres

A number of websites were taken offline yesterday, and remained down this morning, after a load of servers run by Gloucester-based hosters Fasthosts fell over. Services on the hosting side are back up now, but the outage provoked angry responses.

It was a faulty Dell switch that took the servers out, Fasthosts CEO Andy Burton told us: "The switch tech that went down comes from Dell; it disconnected the storage and the processors on some of the virtual servers. It was a specific cluster that was impacted."

It is the first time that this particular issue has occurred, Burton said, and a firmware patch has been applied. On the Fasthosts side, everything is back up and running. According to Burton only a relatively small number of customers were affected as it was a cluster rather than a platform of servers that went down. The company received 127 complaints, we're told.

The customers that did suffer the outage were quite pissed off, however: Polly Buckland was among several who took to Twitter to air their grievances:

Best most reliable hosting company? Need virtual server - @fasthosts keep winning awards & yet 8 of my websites have been down for 48 hours!

Burton reiterated the apology on the Fasthosts site: "I unreservedly apologise to our customers, and more importantly from a customer service point of view, we'll do everything to make sure that things like this are remedied as soon as possible."

Burton said anyone still experiencing problems – most likely to be those on Linux rather than Windows servers – should get in touch with Fasthosts. ®

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