A fire that started at Cutting-Edge Solutions/Pro-Active Websites’ Chicago-area data center on October 9 was contained and no one was hurt, according to authorities. The center hosts Cutting-Edge Solutions and Pro-Active Websites’ servers, along with thousands of other companies’ digital assets. The fire was reportedly started with an accidental hit of an outside power junction, causing a massive power surge within the facility, blowing the center’s surge protectors. The fire chief ordered an immediate emergency “hard” shutdown of the 20,000-square-foot facility to ensure the safety of the firefighters who would be entering the building.
“The emergency shutdown added to the problems caused by the massive power surge, and many of the hardware devices experienced shorts in their motherboards, hard drives and power supplies,” said Bill Walzak, CEO and President of Cutting-Edge Solutions. “Without being able to follow standard shutdown procedures, our equipment experienced a number of serious failures, causing our entire network to be shut down.”
“After the incident, the host data center was overwhelmed with massive amounts of support calls and was unable to work on our servers in a timely manner. It was like triage on a battlefield! We immediately sent in our own team to the data center to work on our systems. We quickly got one of the servers back online. The other took the full brunt of the power surge and, of our array of four separate back-up drives, none was accessible. Our team was working around the clock to restore service. We combined our own nightly in-house back-ups with recovered data to get our customers online as soon as possible. I am very proud of our team’s technical skill and diligence in the face of so much adversity,” continued Walzak.
The fire reportedly did not cause significant damage to the host building, and none of the neighboring structures was affected. Experts say the most expensive loss will likely come from the many damaged server racks, with each one costing up to $50,000.
Walzak added, “We were overwhelmed with the support from our customers. We had the IT teams from George’s Music, M & M Merchandisers and SHS working daily with us. It was really quite humbling, and we can’t thank our customers enough for their understanding and loyalty during that highly unusual perfect storm of circumstances.”