Outages for Bluehost, Media Temple

Two of the largest web hosting companies experienced lengthy outages Tuesday.

Customers of Bluehost reported being offline for several hours this afternoon. The downtime was attributed to a major power outage in Provo, Utah, apparently due to human error during maintenance at a city-owned substation. “While they were doing maintenance, they caused the 138 KV breakers to open at the Tanner Substation,” Tad Smallcomb, operations manager for Provo Power Systems, told KSL.com. Bluehost staff told customers that generators at the company’s Provo data center functioned properly and the facility never lost power.  The problem: much of Provo lost phone service, apparently including the Internet connectivity for Bluehost.

Meanwhile, Media Temple was hit by a denial of service attack on its DNS server, resulting in downtime for any hosting customers that used MT’s nameservers. “At approximately 3:50 PM PDT, (mt) Media Temple experienced a UDP flood against our DNS servers which has resulted in the unavailability of our nameservers,” the company said. “Due to the sophistication of the attack, our normal DDoS firewall prevention techniques didn’t block the attack adequately, as the traffic appears to be legitimate.” At one point Media Temple blocked all traffic from Asia, South America and Mexico to help reduce the impact of the attack. Those blocks were later lifted.

Each provider hosts approximately 1 million names, according to stats from WebHosting.info, which finds 1.04 million domains at BlueHost and 993,000 at Media Temple.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large 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.

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  1. Don

    Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that the phone and internet connection companies did not have battery/generator backup on their equipment?

  2. Joe Doe

    What is laughable is that mediatemple uses two different datacenters but only keeps nameservers on the west coast.

  3. What do you expect for $5 hosting....you get what you pay for.

  4. Ryan

    Bluehost is only $5 so you should not expect the world, but they are adding peering everywhere. Plus they are adding tons of loops. They are easily one of the best hosts for any price.