Phoenix IT Group's woes continued this week after a datacentre outage left some of its customers with service and internet access issues.
According to sources, Phoenix's datacentre in Birstall fell over on Tuesday after a fire alarm tripped the system and its backup diesel generators failed, although the firm itself has yet to comment.
But the outage was flagged up on the website of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), whose internet service provider venture, NYnet, relies on the facility to deliver internet access to 360 schools and 10,000 staff.
At 8.49am on Tuesday, NYCC said Phoenix had informed it that a major outage in its core network had affected all internet traffic for NYnet customers. At 10.04am, it reported that the problem had been resolved.
But according to onlookers, some of Phoenix's hosted customers were more seriously affected and may even still be suffering service issues now. The internet connection issue was apparently resolved much more rapidly because traffic could be rerouted to another datacentre.
The incident will only add to Phoenix's woes following Cisco's decision to kick the infrastructure services provider off its partner programme, as exclusively revealed by CRN, apparently relating to concerns over the way it registered Cisco products, according to our sources.
Phoenix has been given a deadline of December to hand its Cisco customer contracts to another service provider, with early frontrunner BT thought to now be out of the equation, market chatter suggests.
Neil Roberts, managing director of Concorde IT Group, said he had taken a number of phone calls from anxious customers who use the Birstall facility, claiming that it is not the first outage Phoenix has experienced in recent years.
"There is genuine concern among customers. Some are looking for a lifeline to move away from the problems they are having," he said. "It's really puzzling why Phoenix have had so many issues with their infrastructure given the size of their business."
Mark Starkey, UK managing director of Logicalis, said: "Datacentres are incredibly complex and running them is not for the faint-hearted, so I have some sympathy."
"But it comes down to making sure you have done all the right tests and have all the right systems. For example, every single week we test our generators to make sure they start. We have been doing this for seven years and luckily have never had a single second of outage from an electrical point of view."
Adding salt to the wound, the incident occurred just two days ahead of this morning's launch of Phoenix's new platform-as-a-service cloud offering, CloudSure UK.
Roberts added: "Our FLEXCloud offering has been in service now for years without a single incident or outage. Customers need to be assured that when they place trust and data with a service provider they know that all the necessary tests and checks are done regularly to ensure availability and contractual compliance."
Phoenix was unable to confirm details of the outage as we went to press but CRN will endeavour to provide an update if and when we hear back from the firm.
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