Upgrade work to continue after Primus data centre outage

CitiPower substation upgrade to continue despite recent Primus data centre outage

Primus’ Melbourne data centre has suffered its third power outage this year, causing the data centre to go offline and resulting in widespread Internet connectivity issues for many ISPs and customers.

In a note to customers Primus explained that the outage, which occurred at approximately 3:45pm on 9 August, was caused by a failure in the “high tension fuses in the CitiPower substation feeding our data centre.”

“We have experienced a similar issue several months ago and are in the process of executing a plan to resolve this issue,” Primus said.

Primus revealed that the CitiPower substation failure caused the problem, one of the company’s emergency diesel generators also failed to start “due to a synchronization processor failure.”

The outage affected both business and residential customers of Primus, as well as causing major Internet service providers iPrimus, iiNet, Internode and Netspace — among others — to go offline.

According to customer reports on forums, the outage lasted for approximately four hours. However, some ISPs managed to route traffic to other data centres in an effort to keep customers connected.

“Pretty poor, ~2.5 hrs and counting, this joint has worse uptime than my house... hard to believe we pay for this,” AusNOG member Damien Coxall wrote about the Primus outage.

Primus will continue with its plans to upgrade the data centre's CitiPower substation this weekend.

“During this upgrade, new HT switchgear and transformer will be installed. The facility will be operating on two running diesel generators prior to HT mains being isolated. An additional emergency diesel generator which is capable of carrying the entire load by itself will also be a part of the system. The facility will be fully staffed around the clock during this procedure. Customers have previously been informed of this work and ongoing communications with the customers will continue," Primus said in a written statement.

The company expects this upgrade will prevent any future outages, in preparation for what is expected to be a difficult summer in Melbourne.

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