Majority of govt websites restored following four-day outage

MED says fault occurred at its Auckland-based Storage Area Network

The majority of the 15 government websites affected by Saturday’s outage are back up and running. However one site is only partly restored, and another remains down.

A notice posted on the Ministry of Economic Development website at 2pm today states that most of the websites are fully functioning following a botched upgrade on Saturday. However VolunteerNet is still down, and the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals site is only partially back up and the MED says it will provide further updates on this site.

Meanwhile the patents office remains closed today because the Intellectual Property Office was declared closed for Tuesday and Wednesday and so online services can't resume until midnight tonight.

The original deadline for the full restoration of all the websites was midday today.

MED spokesperson Alastair Stewart emailed Computerworld a further explanation as to what occurred. It is as follows:

"The fault occurred within our Auckland-based Storage Area Network, which hosts a number of Ministry of Economic Development websites.

"Our Storage Area Network data is backed up every 15 minutes to ensure a high level of safety of information. The data is backed up a second time once a day, with the secondary back-up stored in an off-site secure location.

"Our web services utilise dual-redundant hardware, and in the event of a partial failure, would continue to operate. However the nature of this weekend’s failure required us to take down our services and initiative a partial data restoration.

"A new Storage Area Network was ordered prior to this outage and is due to arrive next month. It will give our web services increased integrity and stability. We also have on order a high-speed back-up and restore system, which, in the rare event of another outage, will allow us to restore services at a much faster pace.

"Saturday’s change was in preparation for the upgrade to the new Storage Area Network and fast back-up and restore system. It was audited and agreed to by the Storage Area Network manufacturer.”

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