NaviSite CEO Arthur Becker has offered an apology to customers for lengthy downtime during a botched data center migration of Alabanza customers. Some sites were offline for six days as they were moved from Alabanza’s Baltimore data center to a NaviSite (NAVI) data center in Andover, Mass.
“I understand that this has affected your business and your customers, and I apologize for the inconvenience and disruption,” Becker wrote. “This is not the standard for NaviSite. While we had planned this migration for months, we did not anticipate a number of scenarios that became major issues during the execution of the migration. Despite the fact that we have acquired a number of companies during the past few years and both consolidated data centers and migrated data, we had never encountered the series of problems that we saw earlier this week.”
Adding to the mystery is the fact that NaviSite made significant investments in hardware and software in Andover in preparation for the migration.
“This new platform is built upon several state-of-the-art technologies including Sun virtualization hardware with VMware and EMC storage area networks,” Becker wrote. “The environment is designed to dramatically improve scalability and reliability, and provides more elastic computing. In addition, given NaviSite’s commitment to the Green Grid initiative, the new infrastructure is also more environmentally friendly.”
Today’s NaviSite was formed through a series of acquisitions. NaviSite is the successor to BJK Investments/ClearBlue Technologies, a roll-up of distressed data center assets that began with the purchase of Colo.com. ClearBlue bought NaviSite in 2002, and began operating under the more familiar NaviSite brand in 2003. It has continued to grow through acquisitions, buying Jupiter Hosting and NetASPx this year as well as Alabanza.
So how can a data center migration go so wrong for a company with a track record of successful consolidations? The growing complexity of the data center environment could be a factor. NaviSite hasn’t yet determined the root cause of the problems, and says it will report to customers when it does. Given the use of virtualization and “green data center” technologies in the new environment, it’s fair to say that other data center providers will be keenly interested in the outcome of NaviSite’s post-mortem, and any lessons it may hold for future data center consolidations.