Network Outages Rock The Planet

The Planet on Monday did not respond for requests for comment. It was unclear Monday how many customers were affected during the two bouts of downtime. The company’s Twitter feed and community forums, however, indicated that connectivity was lost or disrupted for roughly 90 minutes during each incident.

“On May 2 at approximately 11:45 p.m. Central time, we experienced a network issue that affected connectivity within The Planet’s core network in Houston that may have prevented your servers from communicating to the Internet,” Jason Mathews, overnight technical support supervisor for The Planet wrote in one of the community forums. “Network connectivity service was fully restored in less than 85 minutes; however, your servers may have been impacted by this incident.”

The Planet is one of the world’s largest Web hosting companies and server hosting providers. It serves more than 20,000 businesses and more than 15.7 million Websites and has more than 48,500 servers under its management.

The Planet advised customers to review their records and check for network connectivity loss during the affected timeframe. Users could be eligible for service credit based on their SLA.

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That network outage was determined to have been caused by a fault in a router in one of The Planet’s two Houston data centers.

“In our ongoing analysis of the occurrence, we determined that one of four border routers in Houston failed to properly maintain standard routing protocols,” Mathews wrote. “Traffic destined for this router may have experienced a failure to communicate within The Planet’s core network and to several Internet transit providers directly connected to this border router. We are working through a root cause analysis and we’ve isolated this router from our network to prevent further issues. We have escalated the issue to our vendor for further analysis.”

Later on Monday morning, The Planet suffered a separate outage. According to The Planet’s Twitter feed, customers in Houston and Dallas were hit by disruptions around 8 a.m. CDT. Those disruptions were apparently not related to the outage from Sunday night.

“We believe the network issues this morning are unrelated to connectivity problems customers in [Houston] may have experienced around 12 a.m. CDT,” The Planet wrote on Twitter.

Around 9:30 a.m. CDT, The Planet noted that services had been fully restored and analysis found that a circuit between Dallas and Houston caused the Monday morning disruption.

Additional details concern the outages and disruptions were not available Monday.