​Fujitsu's 'catastrophic' outage still affecting Surf Life Saving Australia

Surf Life Saving Australia has said some of its services are still suffering as a result of an outage at one of Fujitsu's Australian datacentres earlier this month.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has said some of its services are still down following an outage at Fujitsu's Homebush datacentre earlier this month.

Fujitsu experienced an outage on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 9.30pm, at the datacentre in the outskirts of Sydney that hosts the majority of SLSA's servers.

In an email sighted by ZDNet, SLSA informed members that it had worked with Fujitsu to restore a number of its systems; however, its Members Area portal, iRisk, and SEMS systems were still down as of Monday.

SLSA labelled the outage a "catastrophic incident", but said Fujitsu is working on the recovery of its member's portal as a high priority.

As a temporary solution, until the Members Area becomes operational again, SLSA has made available the old version of its Lifesaving Online system, which will allow Members Area users to renew their membership, renew family groups, access eLearning, and other functions related to membership, patrols, and awards.

However, the temporary solution is only available to existing Members Area account holders, SLSA said.

"We appreciate the inconvenience this is causing members trying to renew for the 2017/18 season and we are working on other options to reinstate the renewal process. We will be in touch soon," SLSA told members in an email.

The Australian arm of the Japanese conglomerate is yet to return ZDNet's requests for comment, although it was reported Fujitsu confirmed its datacentre outage was affecting services on August 21.

"We are treating this matter as a major incident and we have activated our internal crisis management processes," a Fujitsu spokesperson is quoted as telling The Register at the time.

"The operation of the unit was reinstated at 3.00am on Sunday morning and resolution activity is continuing to restore services to affected systems and customers. In line with predefined processes Fujitsu is working closely with customers for resolution."

The Fujitsu Western Sydney datacentre was commissioned in November 2011, and underwent an upgrade in 2015 that included a new "high density, hybrid cooling technology, which uses recycled chilled water and spatial layout planning to minimise thermal currents".

SLSA is a not-for-profit community organisation that promotes water safety and provides surf rescue services. Its volunteers have performed 12,123 rescues, provided 65,161 emergency care operations, and clocked up 1,418,910 hours of patrols across its 311 Surf Life Saving Clubs.

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