Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/23/fasthosts_flood_downtime/

Fasthosts hit by severe floods

Unlucky web host firm suffers second downtime in a week

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Data Centre, 23rd July 2007 13:01 GMT

Updated Fasthosts, which last week suffered a major system outage, saw its woes continue today, with its headquarters hit by the floods in Gloucester.

Several Fasthosts customers contacted El Reg alerting us to the downtime, with the service, for some, remaining unavailable for the entire morning.

One customer, who has since seen service resumed, told us:

Our server at Fasthosts is down this morning, their support line is engaged and the hardware KVM isn't responding either (independent of the server suggesting complete power loss).

Most likely flooding; think the power/sub-station at Gloucester is down at the mo. Bad news for them, after last week's problems...

Last week, the firm, which claims to be the UK's number one website host, was forced to shut down its service for more than four hours while dealing with a "potentially significant electrical issue".

A call into Fasthosts' customer support desk this morning revealed the extent of the problem.

A recorded message explained that the firm had been heavily hit by the severe floods in Gloucester with many employees struggling to make it into the office. As a result, Fasthosts said it was unable to man its helpline.

It added that regular system updates would be posted for customers via the secure login support section of its website, there's also info here.

The BBC reports that people in four areas of Gloucester are currently without electricity or fresh water due to a power cut at the Castle Meads substation.

The military was called into the area last night to help deal with rising flood waters which are said to have hit some 48,000 homes.

Fasthosts' main support number is now constantly engaged. Earlier on, one customer told us that he had been at number 50 in a queue of people calling the helpline for more details.

Some Fasthosts customers are still telling us their websites remain down. We'll keep you posted on developments.

In the meantime, if you're a business that has been hit by the floods, let us know by emailing The Register at the above byline.

Update

Fasthosts contacted The Register this afternoon with a detailed update. It said:

Due to operational issues, some Fasthosts customers may have experienced some concerns regarding their technical support service.

Because of water supply problems in Gloucester, and the subsequent health and safety impacts, we regret the Fasthosts' customer service centre is running at reduced staff levels and support is currently only available via email.

As a result of a reduced electricity supply in Gloucestershire, Fasthosts' robust automatic back-up systems have been in operation and every aspect of Fasthosts services remain fully operational.

A very small number of dedicated server customers may be experiencing a reduced service due to a system re-set.

Fasthosts would like to reassure customers of the following:

  • None of Fasthosts facilities have been or are threatened by flood water;
  • None of Fasthosts facilities are without power. Where local electricity supplies have been affected our backup power facilities are providing full cover;
  • In the absence of a telephone service we will continue to work to respond to your incoming emails.

We understand that the services we provide are important to our customers and will work hard to maintain them, despite the current adverse conditions.

We would like to thank those of our customers who have expressed patience and understanding over the last 24hours and offer our best wishes to anyone who is suffering the consequences of the weather conditions.

The firm added that customers can continue to check progress via Fasthosts' RSS feed. ®