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Fasthosts goes titsup after storm-induced power outage

It's NOTHING TO DO WITH FLOODING. At all. Got it?

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Updated Gloucester-based Fasthosts appears to have been a victim of the storms battering the UK over the weekend, after it was struck dumb by a power failure that knocked its service offline for much of Saturday (4 January).

The company, which was still busily restoring its servers into Sunday morning, told customers that it had suffered from a temporary power failure.

It explained the outage on its service status webpage:

Earlier this morning, we experienced a brief interruption of primary power to our sites due to an external infrastructure issue. Our datacentres switched over to UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) power whilst our backup generators started up for prolonged backup power.

Mains power to the site returned after a few moments, however although power was quickly fully restored to both datacentres we experienced a network issue that occurred as a result of this interruption to service.

Fasthosts' redundancy apparently failed to fully kick in, however, which meant that customers were unable to find out what had gone wrong with the service because the firm's communication systems - including its status page - were unavailable due to a network problem.

It apologised for the outage while the company's engineers spent most of the weekend bringing servers back online. They also wrangled with Exchange 2010 mailboxes that prevented an unspecified number of customers from accessing their email accounts over the weekend.

Some customers wondered if Fasthosts had been hit by flood damage. But the company was quick to dismiss the claims via its Twitter account.

A spokesman said: "The external problem was purely power related, which affected the immediate area. We haven't suffered any flooding."

But some punters complained about the fact that the supply failed to pass from the UPS to the mains, which meant that engineers were forced to manually reboot servers.

"UPS' are designed to handle a temporary loss of power. As the supply wasn't switched back to mains, eventually they drained," Fasthosts' spokesman added on Twitter.

Since the publication of this story, Fasthosts has been in touch to say:

Customers can rest assured that back-ups worked fully and no data was lost due to this service interruption. We are confident that the root cause of the issue has been identified and mitigation activity is underway. All but a very few customers now have full performance restored.

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