The Planet, a very large hosting company and data center, was surprised by a fire in their H1 data center in Houston. Seems that some electrical gear shorted, creating an explosion and fire that knocked down three walls surrounding an electrical equipment room. Thankfully, no one was injured. In addition, no customer servers were damaged or lost.
They have been allowed into the building to physically inspect the damage. Early indications are that the short was in a high-volume wire conduit. Unfortunately, they were not allowed to activate their backup generator plan based on instructions from the fire department.
This is a significant outage, impacting approximately 9,000 servers and 7,500 customers. All members of the support team are in, and all vendors who supply them with data center equipment are on site. The initial assessment, although early, points to being able to have some service restored by mid-afternoon on Sunday. They report that they are working around the clock.
They are in the process of communicating with all affected customers, and are planning to post updates every hour via their forum and in their customer portal. If you are one of their customers, please check these sites if possible. They have an interactive voice response system that is updating customers as well.
There was no impact in any of their other five data centers.
Two well known companies use The Planet’s services, Entrecard and Hostgator. Entrecard was affected in a big way and they are completely offline at this time. Hostgator was only marginally affected, probably because the vast majority of their customers were not hosted on servers housed on the affected floor of The Planet’s facility.
There hasn’t been an estimate (so far) for how long things could be offline.