Hardware Failure Cited in PayPal Outage

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A network hardware failure was the trigger for an outage last Friday at PayPal, which left millions of merchants unable to process online transactions. The hardware failure was compounded by problems shifting traffic to another data center, resulting in about 90 minutes of downtime for the popular payment processing service, which is owned by eBay.

“At around 08:07 am PT (Friday), a network hardware failure in one of our data centers resulted in a service interruption for all PayPal users worldwide,” PayPal CTO Scott Guilfoyle reported on the PayPal blog. “Everyone in our organization was immediately engaged to identify the issue and get PayPal back up and running. We were not able to switch over to our back up systems as quickly as planned.”

PayPal did not identify the specific data center where the failure occurred, but in May eBay said the PayPal site would be hosted in its new $287 million “Topaz” data center in South Jordan, Utah. When the network hardware failure occurred, PayPal shifted traffic to a data center in Denver, which took some time to stabilize.

Storefront Backtalk has a detailed review of the incident.

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.

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