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Update: Blog service provider crippled by storage glitch

Failure at TypePad occurred during installation of redundant system

By Lucas Mearian
December 16, 2005 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - TypePad, a developer of self-publishing software for weblogs, said its service went down last night due to a problem with its primary storage system.
A company spokesman said the storage array that failed was part of a redundant system the company was installing.
Anil Dash, vice president of professional products at Six Apart, said the array shut down the blogging service at about 11 p.m. yesterday. Dash said the company verified that no existing blogs, which are kept in a database on the storage array, were lost during the malfunction.
The service was back online late this afternoon.
"This was a classic single point of hardware failure and we're working to eliminate any single points of failure we have in the future," he said.
TypePad is owned by Six Apart Ltd. in San Francisco. Six Apart has about 12 million users of its online services, Dash said. The services include, TypePad, its hosted weblogging service; Movable Type, a weblog publishing platform for businesses, organizations, developers, and web designers; and Live Journal, an online community organized around personal journals.
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, TypePad had 7.2 million unique hits last month.
TypePad said it deployed backup copies of customer's weblogs from approximately two days ago, which is what was displayed on blog sites during the outage. Users were unable to log into the site because the TypePad application was unavailable.
The Web site has been experiencing growing pains over the past few months.
Ben Trott, co-founder and CTO of Six Apart, said in an October blog entry that the company outgrew its original data center and has recently moved over to a new facility.
"We've seen failures in our storage servers, failures that we had never seen before. We've seen a failure in a piece of networking equipment that had never failed before, and so on, ranging from hardware failures to software failures," he said in the October entry.
Trott wrote that the company is currently pushing about 3TB a day of network traffic through multiple pipes, "and that's growing by 10-20% each month." Because of those problems, the company also offered its customers as much as 45 days of free service.
The company will continue to post updates throughout the day on status.sixapart.com.

Read more about Data Storage in Computerworld's Data Storage Topic Center.



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