Human Error Cited in Hosting.com Outage

Hosting.com said human error was responsible for a data center power outage that left more than 1,100 customers without service. The downtime occurred as the company was conducting preventive maintenance on a UPS system in the company's data center in Newark, Del.

Hosting.com said human error was responsible for a data center power outage that left more than 1,100 customers without service.  The downtime occurred as the company was conducting preventive maintenance on a UPS system in the company's data center in Newark, Del.

"An incorrect breaker operation sequence executed by the servicing vendor caused a shutdown of the UPS plant resulting in loss of critical power to one data center suite within the facility," said Hosting.com CEO Art Zeile in a statement. "This was not a failure of any critical power system or backup power system and is entirely a result of human error."

Power was restored within 11 minutes of the incident, Zeile said. But customer web sites were offline for between one and five hours as their equipment and databases required more time to recover from the sudden loss of power.

"This past night was not an easy one for our affected customers in Newark," said Zeile. "We have shared our sincere apologies and have kept them continually informed on the situation as it unfolded. Our operations team has taken serious corrective action to minimize and/or eliminate the possibility of this kind of human error while carrying out routine operations."

The risks involved in preventive maintenance were a hot topic at the 24x7 Exchange conference last fall, when reliability expert Steve Fairfax asserted that preventive maintenance can introduce more errors than it prevents.

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