365 Main Does PR for DR

Data center colocation provider is pelted with virtual eggs in wake of SF outage

August 2, 2007

2 Min Read
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5:45 PM -- San Francisco colocation supplier 365 Main has a PR challenge of the first order on its hands, following a power outage that took numerous Websites offline in San Francisco last week.

365 Main landed in the middle of an IT nightmare on July 24, when utility power went on the blink, and generators for the growing data center facilities firm failed to kick in. Four days later -- we repeat, four days later -- 365 Main ascertained the root cause to be faulty coding in diesel controllers for the generators. By that time, angry suppliers of sites such as Craiglist, Six Apart, Technorati, and Yelp reportedly had queued up outside 365's SF headquarters, looking for answers.

They also took to their blogs, virtually pillorying 365 Main with jokes about "364.98 Main" and rumors of drunken employees, later retracted.

"We will be having very blunt conversations with our co-location facility managers to understand why it is there was a failure in back-up power and working hard to ensure this does not happen again," wrote Technorati VP of marketing Derek Gordon.

What could be worse? The outage, which affected an estimated 20 percent to 40 percent of 365 Main's key San Francisco customers, calls the company's credibility into question. After all, this is a firm that boasts its reliability with Web hosters, its hipness to green issues, and its cozy relationship with the power company. (See PG&E Recognizes 365 Main, 365 Main Joins Green Grid, and 365 Main Ensures Uptime.)365 Main has the PR pump on full blast, posting apologies from CEO Christopher Dolan on its Website with promises to make good on SLAs. In a "fatal incident FAQ" published today, 365 Main staunchly asks and answers the most painful question of all:

  • How can you keep the brand promise of "worlds finest data centers" after such an incident?

  • Maximum uptime and high-reliability are essential to our customers. While no data center operator can guarantee 100% uptime, 365 Main continually strives to deliver a premium data center experience.

  • Since its inception over five years ago, 365 Main has delivered 99.9967% uptime across its five-data-center portfolio. This includes the 45-minute outage experienced in San Francisco last week. The San Francisco facility alone is 99.9942%, inclusive of last week’s outage.

  • In addition, we hope that the level of transparency we’ve provided during this difficult experience sets a standard of communications in our industry. We know our customers appreciate swift, factual and candid communications, which we’ve delivered throughout this investigation. Unfortunately we are not the first data center to experience an outage, and we are certainly not the last.

Well, this provider's customers will determine whether indeed this incident was "the last" at 365 Main.

— Mary Jander, Site Editor, Byte and Switch

  • 365 Main Inc.

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