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Datacenter Power Issues

  1. As some of you may have heard, starting this morning (CST), ERCOT, the operator of the power grid in Texas, has ordered utility companies to implement rolling blackouts across the state due to extreme weather conditions.

    2 of the 3 WordPress.com data centers are located in Texas – 1 in San Antonio and 1 in Dallas.

    The Dallas facility has been operating on generator power since yesterday evening without issue. This morning, the generator in the San Antonio facility suffered a failure that has left us without a long-term backup power supply in that facility.

    There have been 2 utility power blackouts in the San Antonio facility this morning, but so far UPS power has kept the servers running. Technicians are on en route to repair the broken generator, but it is possible that there may be another blackout before the repair is complete.

    If that happens, it is likely that the servers running WordPress.com in San Antonio will power off.

    We are currently preparing for that scenario and doing everything we can to reduce the impact of such a failure, but wanted to let everyone know the current situation.

    Here is a link to the Reuters story about the blackouts: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/02/ercot-rollingblackots-idUSN0221428420110202

    We'll do our best to keep you informed.

  2. A quick update on the power issues for you:

    The generator issues in our San Antonio facility have been mostly resolved.

    Technicians are still on-site, but we hope to have the “all-clear” from them shortly. The facility is currently operating on utility power, but our hosting partner in San Antonio is confident that in the case of another utility power blackout, the transfer to generator power can be made successfully.

    Once the generator issues are fully resolved, a controlled failover to generator power will be initiated. We will continue to run the facility on generator power until the utility company lets us know the blackouts are over at which point we will switch back to utility power. We don’t expect the blackouts to end until tomorrow at the earliest.

    We'll continue to monitor the situation.

  3. The power issues in Texas have stabilized. There were no performance or service interruptions as a result of the numerous blackouts in our San Antonio facility. As someone living in Houston, I hope it warms up soon!

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