Datacom customers kicked off the cloud

Customers experience degraded service following outage

The reputation of cloud-based computing services may have suffered a setback following an outage at Datacom, one of New Zealand's largest information technology service providers.

Some companies that turned to the "cloud" to source services from Datacom were knocked offline on Monday because of "a series of hardware faults" that affected multiple storage systems.

About 100 businesses buy cloud-based services from Datacom, many mixing and matching these with applications delivered by their own equipment housed in Datacom's datacentres.

Datacom New Zealand chief executive Greg Davidson said some customers experienced a degraded service or interruptions.

Spokeswoman Ursula Lawgun said the company responded straight away. "Some customers came back online immediately. A handful of clients were offline on Tuesday."

NZ Post, which owns a minority shareholding in Datacom, was affected, but spokesman Keith Fitzpatrick said the effect was negligible.

Datacom employs more than 3000 staff in New Zealand, Australia and Asia and reported a 9.5 per cent rise in revenues to $667 million in July.

The outage occurred just days after Datacom announced it had installed an "enterprise quality cloud platform" in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, where its newly-opened datacentre survived the September earthquake unscathed.

Mr Davidson said Datacom took the incident seriously, but said it was impossible to anticipate as it involved a series of hardware faults across multiple storage area networks at the Auckland site.

"The highly resilient architecture of the cloud platform protected the integrity of data in a way that may not have been possible in a standalone customer environment."

The outage is the latest of a spate of gremlins affecting datacentres.

A fault at a Vector datacentre prevented customers of Vodafone, Orcon and some smaller internet providers from accessing the internet for a few hours earlier this month.

Vodafone said the datacentre was one of the few remaining facilities for which it did not have a backup. Few customers were affected because the outage occurred shortly after midnight.

Orcon confirmed it was later affected by an outage caused by an unrelated hardware failure at one of its own facilities.

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