Generator Flaw May Affect Other Providers

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The flaw that caused last week’s generator failures and outage at 365 Main’s San Francisco data center may be found in similar equipment used at other data centers, the company said today. The final incident FAQ attributed the outage to a weakness in a small but essential component in the back-up system known as a DDEC (Detroit Diesel Electronic Controller).

“This is a problem that is going to be felt by anyone who is using a Detroit Diesel MTU 4 controller,” said J.P. Balajadia, 365 Main’s Vice President of Operations. “We’ve talked with other people in our industry that have seen the same issues. We fixed our exposure in all of our data centers and are sharing the information we’ve learned with others who may be affected.”


The specific DDEC component involved in the failures at 365 Main has been discontinued, but Balajadia said they are not uncommon in data centers built in 2000 and shortly afterward. He said the DDEC MTU 4 units were used in the Hitec generator products used by 365 Main, but also some other generator brands as well.

“We know for sure that MTU DDECs were sold to other manufacturers, and we know that there have been other major data centers that have seen similar issues,” said Balajadia, who didn’t name the other providers. “Hitec is quickly taken the information we learned here in San Francisco and communicating it to other customers.”

“Our top priority is taking steps to prevent this type of unforeseen incident from occurring again,” said Glenn Ellis, president and CEO of Hitec USA. “We sincerely apologize to 365 Main and its customers that our generators failed to deliver the continuous power as designed.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.