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Welcome to Hollywood, Claranet-style: You've (not) got mail, or hosted sites for that matter

Hoddesdon bit barn outage blamed as customer emails falter, corporate sites go dark

Updated Hosting-cum-cloud-slinger Claranet had a very, very bad start to Wednesday as customer sites toppled over and email services stuttered to a halt due to an issue at one of the company's server estates.

Things went south at around 09:30 BST in what the company described as "an issue with services hosted in our Hoddesdon Data Centre".

Whatever those issues were, they took out the company's own website, as well as that of its subsidiary, Claranet Soho. Both were unavailable, just like those belonging to many of the company's customers.

Claranet's social media orifice remained silent over the issue, doing the digital equivalent of sticking its fingers in its ears and saying "la la la we can't hear you" as panicked customers tried to find out just what in blue blazes was going on.

It wasn't until things began tottering back to life, some two hours after the first reports came in, that the company saw fit to say that it was "aware of an outage".

A pre-recorded message on Claranet's support line pointed to problems at the Hoddesdon data centre.

An engineer at the business told The Register the issue was power related and connected to one of the two feeds into the Claranet suites at Hoddesdon.

Founded in 1996, Claranet lays claim to 6,500 business customers and 2,200 staff in 24 offices across Europe, the US and Brazil. The company is all about hosting, networks and communications.

But clearly not about keeping the lights on or its customers informed when things go wrong.

We've asked Claranet for more details, and how an issue in a single data centre could have taken out the company's own sites as well as services for customers. We will update this article if a response is forthcoming.

Updated 21 August at 11:27 BST

Claranet sent us a statement:

"At approximately 9.10GMT this morning, Claranet experienced a loss of service across a number of services hosted from the Hoddesdon Data Centre. We immediately commenced an investigation into the issue with engineers working on-site to find out the source of the problem. At 10:10, it was determined that the issue was power-related after engineers discovered a fault with one of the two feeds going into the Claranet suites at the Hoddesdon DC.

"We began work to resolve the issue immediately, and started to see services coming back online by 10:47 GMT. Following on from this, we believe that all services have now been restored and advise any customer still experiencing issues to contact our Service Desk. We are continuing to monitor the situation and our engineers remain on-site." ®

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