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Bug takes out HostGator, BlueHost for a day

Kevin Murphy, April 17, 2014, 12:09:22 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Endurance International, the domain name registrar that owns some of the world’s biggest web hosting brands, has been hit by a “network firmware” bug that took out one of its data centers.

It’s not currently clear how many many of the 10 million+ domains that EIG hosts were affected, but the outage seems to have lasted at least 17 hours and is only just being resolved right now.

Customers of EIG brands BlueHost and HostGator are among those known to be affected. HostGator alone hosts over 9 million domains, according to Wikipedia.

The outage, affecting a Provo, Utah data center, seems to have begun at 11am local time (7pm UTC) yesterday.

On the BlueHost Facebook page, the company wrote at about 8am UTC today:

Our NetOps team addressed the source of the problems affecting some customers: a bug in the firmware utilized in our vendor’s hardware. We worked very closely with this vendor and we have implemented a bug fix that is beginning to propagate across the network now. You may find some performance inconsistencies during this rollout, but they should resolve fairly quickly.

In more recent updates on Twitter and Facebook and forums, the companies said that some customers may still be affected by the bug, but that they’re quickly coming back online.

Endurance owns dozens of domains and hosting brands. In the registrar space, its best known and largest are probably FastDomain, Domain.com, Dotster and, following the recent acquisition, Directi.

Today’s downtime is the third significant outage in the last 12 months.

The same data center was hit by a prolonged outage in August 2013, which was followed by a shorter outage on December 31.

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Comments (4)

  1. We saw our BlueHost-hosted registry websites have patchy outages from around 2pm USA ET on Wednesday, and our web and email seemed to black out around 8pm ET. Consequently, or web and email have been offline for >12 hours. Our CTO was unable to reach BlueHost support.

    We’ve posted an alternative registry email address on Twitter, Facebook and Sina Weibo.

    Naturally, our registry operations for Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website have been uninterrupted (thanks Afilias).

  2. Abdul Jaludi says:

    Unless they can provide specific details such as equipment type, maker and firmware version, I find it extremely difficult to believe this outage was caused by a firmware bug.

    The more likely scenario is an improperly tested and installed network configuration change.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      I think they not naming vendors is a good thing. Naming usually implies trying to shift the blame to a vendor than has a strong brand.

  3. Rich says:

    Whatever it was my sites were off/on for hole day yesterday.I had 15 e’mails incidents from ping.com

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