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Ebay’s Web Hosting Service ProStores Experiences Outage Due to a Storm

Ebay web hosting outage due to storm

Ebay’s ProStores popular web hosting service has built its reputation on reliability and security that is backed by the eBay name. This reliability and security was put into question when a recent surge of stormy weather on the 19th of January, 2010, spawned power outages in the San Jose, California area, subsequently resulting in the temporary shutdown of eBay’s ProStores web hosting service.

The ProStores web hosting service was rumored to be down from around 8 o’clock in the morning, throughout the day on the 19th. The ProStores website and the ProStores discussion board were also both unavailable during the shutdown. The outage caused thousands of eBay stores to disappear momentarily, undoubtedly resulting in a massive loss of business for eBay and their sellers.

At approximately 11:30 AM on the 19th of January, and update was given on the status of the shutdown.
At which time, an eBay ProStores representative Lin Shearer stated: “The San Jose area is experiencing a storm-related power outage that is affecting our datacenter. Our backup power systems initially functioned correctly – moving to battery power as a bridge to the generators – which then failed to come online. The generators are now up and we are working to get all servers back online. We anticipate having service fully restored within two to three hours. We will be conducting a thorough investigation to determine why the generators did not turn on in order to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

By noon the same day, some of the ProStores were back online, however merchants were still reporting problems with the administrative interface, and customers were still complaining of checkout errors. Many of the ProStores remained out of business until the next day, leading many merchants to reconsider their choice to use ProStores as a web host. Some consumers were even considering using Yahoo stores as a replacement option.

Some of the users of ProStores ponder the question – If eBay has redundant servers for their main website, then why do they not ensure merchant security by providing backup servers for their ProStores customers. With the main servers for ProStores being located in a fault line area, it does seem rather questionable as to why precautions were not taken to prevent such a mishap.

The outage lasted into the next day, and in the end over 5,000 merchants were said to be affected by the shutdown. It is not known how many of these merchants decided to switch to using another service, but it seems logical that many of them most likely setup a backup store with another service at the very least. Ebay has told customers that it will be doing everything it can to prevent such an event in the future, and has sincerely apologized for the dilemma. Whether this apology is enough to suffice the temper of thousands of ProStores users is left to debate. One thing is certain, the value of ProStores has not declined.

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    20th February 2010
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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