Fire Causes BT Data Center Outage in Northern Ireland

Power to Belfast facility shut down for several hours

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

June 25, 2015

1 Min Read
Fire Causes BT Data Center Outage in Northern Ireland
The British Telecom (BT) logo is seen in London. (Photo by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

Fire in a network room of a telco building in Belfast, UK, caused a BT data center outage Wednesday morning, affecting numerous customers, including government agencies.

The fire was reported at 6 am local time, and firefighters extinguished it quickly, but turned off power to the entire data center as soon as they arrived, one tenant in the data center, a service provider called Tibus, wrote in a blog post. The facility was re-energized sometime after 1 pm, but it took Tibus staff until Thursday morning to return their systems fully back to normal.

Among other affected customers were public transportation company Translink, the Police Ombudsman’s Office, Belfast City Council, Northern Ireland Electricity, and Budget Energy, the BBC reported.

When the power did come back on, it damaged some power distribution units that were feeding electricity to Tibus servers. “As feared, the return of power without notification has damaged two of our PDUs,” a Tibus representative wrote.

BT has not said what had caused the fire. It also did not say how many customers were affected by the outage. In statements to the press company spokespeople said only that numerous customers had been affected and that no customer equipment had been damaged.

There was at least one other major data center outage this week. Aliyun, the cloud services subsidiary of the Chinese web giant Alibaba, saw its Hong Kong data center go down for 12 hours Tuesday.

Aliyun provided conflicting accounts of what had caused the outage, telling the press that there had been a power outage in the building, while informing clients that a cable connecting Hong Kong and mainland China had been damaged.

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