Fire Causes Partial UniSuper Data Center Outage in Port Melbourne

Hundreds of thousands of users shut out of member portal

Karen Riccio

May 15, 2017

1 Min Read
Fire Causes Partial UniSuper Data Center Outage in Port Melbourne
(Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

It’s not yet known why a fire at UniSuper’s Port Melbourne data center last week caused a partial shutdown, or which of three providers is responsible--Vocus, NextDC, or Equinix—all with facilities in the area, reported iTnews.

Although the fire triggered a shutdown of key systems, no data was lost or compromised; however, the company’s nearly 400,000 customers were not able to access the member portal of UniSuper’s website for more than one day, according to the company’s hotline.

As a provider of financial and retirement advice and tools for the education and research sector, the outage also meant that members could not access investment accounts. UniSuper also owns one of the largest super funds in Australia with $57.5 billion in net funds under management.

A message recorded on UniSuper's support hotline said the problems were caused by a fire at a data center that triggered the shutdown of key systems.

"Early Wednesday morning, an incident at one of our data centers triggered a partial system shutdown. A number of our systems and services were impacted," said UniSuper spokesperson Catherine Dohrmann. “The direct impact on our members was limited to the outage of our telephony system and MemberOnline portal."

Dohrmann said UniSuper's team worked throughout the night of the fire to restore the provider's systems for member services, which were brought up the next day. She did not reveal the provider’s name, and said UniSuper is waiting to receive a report from the "mystery" company as to what happened during to cause systems shutdown.

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