Banks, govt fail as Polaris loses power

A catastrophic and mysterious power outage hit Queensland's $220 million Polaris datacentre on Friday and sent a string of banks, businesses, and government agencies to their knees.

A catastrophic and mysterious power outage hit Queensland's $220 million Polaris datacentre on Friday and sent a string of banks, businesses, and government agencies to their knees.

Automatic teller machines, telephones, and internal banking systems went down and internet connections were lost after technicians allegedly bungled a diesel fuel test used to support the datacentre's critical systems.

Reports indicate the outage lasted many hours. It caused the Bank of Queensland's ATMs to crash across the state, affecting EFTPOS and credit card transactions, as well as online banking capabilities.

Phone and internal internet access were also affected.

Suncorp's ATMs, internet-based phones, and multiple internal and external systems were also hit.

Both banks have not yet been advised of the cause of the fault and are demanding answers.

Other irate customers have criticised the Polaris' handling of the matter, accusing it of a cover-up.

The company told ZDNet Australia earlier today that customers were unaffected, but further investigation has uncovered evidence that the impact on clients was severe, albeit brief.

It is understood fibre networking giant Pipe Networks lost connectivity to its entire server infrastructure racks, while the Department of Transport lost its disaster recovery functions.

"This incident was the catalyst for some BOQ customer impacts, including BOQ customers' inability to access ATM and EFTPOS and credit card transactions on Internet Banking," the Bank of Queensland told ZDNet Australia.

"Some impacts were also felt across some BOQ branch systems. As we speak, our outsourced technology provider, HP, is working with Polaris to understand the overall impacts and mitigate these in future."

The event is understood to have crippled infrastructure of parts of the Queensland Government's primary information and communication technology service provider CITEC.

Ross Dewar, head of hosting provider Emantra said the company was affected but had not been advised by Polaris of the cause of the incident.

One source close to the Polaris datacentre said multiple third-party hosting providers were also affected.

Mike Andrea, director of Strategic Directions, which designed the Queensland-based datacentre, said the cause of the failure was still unknown, but acknowledged the outage did occur.

Polaris is preparing a public statement.

This incident comes as the National Broadband Network Company prepares to shell out $5 million over the coming five years for the use of the Polaris datacentre.

More details to follow as they come to hand.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All