MySpace Outage Pinpointed at LA Telecom Building

The power outage that knocked MySpace offline was the second major failure in the past year at the telecom building in Los Angeles where MySpace houses much of its operations. The downtime at the Garland Building (1200 W. 7th) left MySpace users wondering how one of the web's busiest sites could go dark so easily. Adding to the headscratching was the fact that MySpace is a customer of Limelight Networks, a content delivery network that should (in theory) provide distributed caching and storage.

Other tenants at the Garland Building that were affected included DreamHost, which reported on the weekend power outages on its company blogs. The building lost grid power during a series of rolling blackouts that affected the Los Angeles area as California coped with stifling heat and record demand for electricity. The loss of power at Garland was blamed on the failure of a UPS system (uninterruptible power supply), which normally maintains power to equipment while generators start up.

Equinix said that reports that the outage may have occurred in one of its data centers were incorrect. "Equinix’s data centers were operating as normal over the weekend and this morning, providing consistent power to all customers," Margie Backaus, chief business officer of Equinix, reported in the comments section at GigaOm. "MySpace operates in Equinix data centers, but it also hosts operations in other data centers where we understand the incident occurred." MySpace recently announced that it would lease space in the new Equinix center in El Segundo.

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EurID Suspends 74K .eu Names, Citing Registrar Abuse

EURid has suspended 74,000 .eu domain names and sued 400 registrars for breach of contract, citing "abusive behavior from a syndicate of registrars who have systematically acquired domain names with the obvious intent of selling them."

“In this case we are convinced that the domain name holders of the 74 000 .eu names (Ovidio Ltd, Fausto Ltd and Gabino Ltd) are acting as a front for a number of registrars," said Herman Sobrie, Legal Manager of EURid. "The domain name holders and the registrars can be regarded as one and the same. Since registrars should only register domain names for existing customers and not 'warehouse' the names in order to resell them at a higher price, this is clearly in breach of the registrar contract."

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Power Outage Knocks MySpace.com Offline

Social networking site MySpace.com is offline currently, attributing the downtime to a power outage in its data center. It was inaccessible for more than 90 minutes, and then displayed a brief message alerting users to the problems: "Hey everyone! There's been a power outage in our data center. we're in the process of fixing it right now, so sit tight. - Tom" (presumably MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson).

With MySpace unavailable, many of the service's users began posting blog items at LiveJournal, another free blogging service popular with U.S. teenagers.

MySpace.com site performance

A dynamically updating chart of the web site performance of myspace.com is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

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Super-sized Budget Hosting Plans Offer 100 GB of Disk Space

Do you need 100 gigabytes of disk space to house your web site? How about 150 gigs? Even if you'll never need that much space, hosting providers are offering it in the hope that super-sized specs will win new customers.

Hostway's "Superpowered Web Hosting" promotion is offering plans featuring 150 gigs of disk space, 1,500 gigs of data transfer and 3,000 email accounts for $9.95 per month. 1&1 Internet now offers 100 gigs of disk space and 1,000 gigs of transfer with its $9.95 a month business plan, while Go Daddy offers identical specs for $14.99 a month.

"There's obviously this arms race going on, with people offering absurd amounts of disk space and bandwidth," said Derek Vaughan. chief marketing officer of TechPad Agency.

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American DNS Providers Continue Services to UK Betting Sites

The U.S. crackdown on online gambling company BetOnSports appears unlikely to spark dramatic shifts in the geography of the online gambling industry in the short term. American DNS service providers and DDoS mitigation companies are continuing to provide services to UK betting sites, while initial fears about the British government's extradition policy have eased somewhat. But some international betting services are barring U.S. residents, and up-and-coming offshore "data havens" are likely to be of growing interest to UK-based gambling operations.

It will take time for the broader implications of the U.S. charges against BetonSports.com to become clear. BetonSports.com CEO David Carruthers was arrested Sunday in Dallas/Fort Worth airport as he changed flights on his way from London to Costa Rica (where BetOnSports is based) and charged with conspiracy, fraud and racketeering. Also named in the indictment were Florida companies that provided marketing services to BetonSports. While those charges dealt specifically with the transport of gambling equipment to offshore sites, the inclusion of the companies has raised concern among U.S. companies providing services to international gambling sites.

Neustar Ultra Services (formerly UltraDNS) is continuing to provide DNS management services to BetonSports.com and several other UK gambling sites. Prolexic, a Florida provider specializing in mitigation of DDoS attacks, also counts offshore gambling web sites as customers. Gambling sites are frequent targets of attacks from DDoS blackmail schemes.

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HostingCon: Affiliate Referrals, Click Fraud Drive Up Marketing Costs

Web hosting providers are paying more to attract new customers, as affiliate referral fees and Google AdWords campaigns become more expensive, according to panelists at this week's HostingCon 2006 conference. Click fraud is also a growing problem for search marketing campaigns using google, they said.

"The cost of acquiring a customer is skyrocketing," said Lou Honick, CEO of HostMySite.com. "If you're going through traditional channels, it's getting more and more expensive to acquire a customer."

Affiliate programs, which pay a fee for customer referrals from third-party web sites, are a key sales channel for many shared hosting providers. In recent months a growing number of hosting companies have begun paying $100 or more per referral for customers who typically pay $5 to $15 per month. There are at least six hosts offering between $100 and $120 per referral at Commission Junction, which manages a network of affiliate programs. That rate represents a significant increase, according to Matt Heaton, CEO of BlueHost, who said his company generates most of its leads through affiliate programs.

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