Power Protection Featured Article
MailChimp Extended Downtime Sheds Light on Importance of Power Protection
Hundreds of thousands of customers of MailChimp, an email marketing services company, were left with lumps of coal in their stockings when 2012 kicked off, as a hardware issue at one of MailChimp’s three data centers in the US caused a bout of downtime for customers.
According to company officials, the outage was caused because three groups of servers supporting databases in the company’s first and oldest data center failed. As a result, the team had to disable user access to these servers, which affected 400,000 customers.
“We then began the long, painstaking process of replacing hardware and then restoring data,” a MailChimp staff member wrote in a blog post.
This period of downtime resulted in two thirds of those affected losing campaigns that were created or sent between 1 .m. and 3 a.m. EST, because the team reverted to backups from 1 a.m. that morning for these users. Only about a third of those affected had their data and services restored “nearly perfectly with no campaign or data loss.”
Officials are still looking in to the exact cause of the failure and the fact that the servers that failed happened to be among the ones MailChimp installed to replace older machines to prepare for capacity spikes during the holiday season. These newer servers were equipped with Solid State Disk (SSD) drives.
“The upgrades did manage to sustain delivering [more than 100] million emails per day during peak periods, but the RAID controllers for the SSDs weren’t working as reliably as we hoped,” the MailChimp team member wrote in the blog post.
“When those things fail, they apparently break the SSDs along with them.”
One company fighting to bring a silver lining to a case of downtime is Minuteman UPS/Para System, a leading provider of power protection technologies. Recently, Minuteman sat down with TMCnet to discuss how the company fared in 2011.
“2011 has been a phenomenal year for Minuteman,” Duston Nixon, marketing communications specialist for Minuteman, told TMCnet. “We have been fortunate enough to face the uncertain economic climate and meet our goals for the year, which included substantial growth in several markets.”
Minuteman made several valuable contributions to the industry this year. In March, Minuteman brought Christmas early to customers as the power protection company offered instant rebates of up to $250 for all the tools needed to protect entire networks, telephones or security systems. Over the summer, Minuteman weighed in on why small and medium sized business (SMB) owners should not overlook power protection technologies, and offered a white paper called “Powering Your Business Disaster Planning”, which delineated the key components of an all encompassing power protection plan – one which proved failproof during short-term power surges or even extended outages.
For more on the power protection company’s successes, click here.
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Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell