Report: Aliyun Suffers 12-Hour Data Center Outage in Hong Kong

Alibaba’s cloud services arm offers conflicting explanations for prolonged downtime

1 Min Read
Report: Aliyun Suffers 12-Hour Data Center Outage in Hong Kong
Alibaba headquarters in Hangshou, China. (Image: Alibaba)

Aliyun, the cloud services arm of Chinese web giant Alibaba, saw its Hong Kong data center go down for about 12 hours earlier this week, Caixin Online reported.

Details about the cause of the outage are unavailable, and an Alibaba spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. The company has offered two conflicting explanations about the outage, according to the report.

Data center designers go to great lengths to engineer resilient infrastructure, and data center outages are rare. They do happen, however, and data center outages that affect the most businesses are those providing colocation, hosting, or cloud services.

Aliyun, whose parent company went public on Nasdaq last year, has been expanding its data center infrastructure steadily. It launched the Hong Kong data center in May 2014 in partnership with Towngas, a Hong Kong utility company.

Also in 2014 the company brought online a Beijing data center – its third in mainland China. Earlier this year, Aliyun announced plans to launch a data center in Silicon Valley to expand its cloud services in the US market.

Aliyun said on a Chinese social network that the extremely long period of downtime was due to a power outage. The company reportedly told its clients, however, that the reason was a broken cable between Hong Kong and mainland China.

The company told Caixin it first noticed something was wrong around 9:40 am on June 23. It blamed the problem on a power outage and said power came back on around 9:20 pm the same day.

Aliyun also said it would compensate customers for the damage its data center outage had caused.

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