InMotion hosting suffered a major hardware failure on Monday December 13, 2021. The point of failure was the RAID array, which is the hard drives. The current status is that servers are being restored with the most up to date backups.
InMotion Server Failure
The server failure appears to have only affected one server, with the affected server being named, ecbiz213.
If your website is up and working, then this outage does not affect your site at all.
Last night our server ecbiz213 suffered a major hardware failure associated with the hard drives on the server. We are working to properly inform all affected customers as quickly as possible and move all the accounts to new hardware. 1/2
— InMotion Hosting (@inmotionhosting) December 14, 2021
InMotion Hosting Customers Feedback
InMotion has been on Twitter addressing customer feedback. However some are reporting that they have not received notices.
It’s possible that hosting email accounts are tied to the server that is down, in which case any support emails would not be received.
One customer, Jason B. of Logos-Daily.com (@Logos_Daily) shared their experience:
“I haven’t gotten any notifications at all from InMotion Hosting, and they’re sharing mixed details publicly as to what happened (“unscheduled maintenance” if you visit their status page, “hardware malfunction” if you chat with them privately…).
All of the information I’ve received, I’ve had to dig to find out.
I didn’t even know my sites were down until someone pinged me and let me know that the website wasn’t working.
Come to find out, we’re not even certain if we can get the sites back in full (says their support).”
Another InMotion customer shared a similar story on Twitter:
And it says that the @inmotionhosting servers are operational, but I haven't heard anything from their support team and my sites are still down… not a good look following a big hardware malfunction.https://t.co/2RAP3slUYE
— 𝗝𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗕 🤷🏼♂️ (@itsmejasonb) December 14, 2021
To their credit, InMotion Hosting has been proactive on Twitter responding to customer concerns as they arise.
According to InMotion Hosting:
“We regret to inform you that at 12:30 PM (EST) on Monday, December 13th, 2021, ecbiz213 suffered a major hardware failure associated with the hard drives on the server.
Despite the best efforts of our team, the RAID array has been deemed unrecoverable.”
InMotion today updated their support page to note that they were able to locate more up to date back ups, which is good news.
That means they will be able to restore websites, hopefully to the very latest versions.
It’s always a good idea to have a backup on hand for precisely this reason. While a web host generally maintains backups of their hard drives it’s definitely a best practice to maintain a daily or weekly backup.
Even for websites that are relatively static it is still a good practice to backup the website on daily basis because those backups will be helpful in the event of a hacking, which will allow a site to be restored to a state prior to the hacking event and from there fix whatever vulnerabilities are there, to prevent the hacking from happening again.
Hard Drives Tend To Fail
I administer my own server and have received these notices in the past about disk sector errors, which is a clue that the disk is beginning to fail. In those situations I request disk replacements before they fail, having learned my lesson from previous meltdowns.
Hard drive failures are inevitable on servers and because of that it’s important to keep an eye on disk performance. Normally there is server monitoring that can detect and report on disk errors that precede a complete disk meltdown.
InMotion had those in place, but somehow proactive action could not be taken prior to the failure.
According to a spokesperson at InMotion:
“InMotion Hosting’s engineers actively monitor the health of all disks using a variety of checks and replace them as they exhibit symptoms of imminent failure.
In addition to leveraging software like Icinga to monitor the drives, we also have an on-site Data Center team that manages our hardware, allowing us to act quickly and replace drives.”
Patience Is The Best Response
Moving to a new server can be a huge hassle and sometimes can result in ranking fluctuations.
In a case like this there is no reason to move to another server. An InMotion spokesperson noted that all customer websites are currently being restored.
“As of today, the systems team is working to locate more up-to-date backups on the server for our customers.
They are currently in the process of checking the restorations on the server and making sure the most up-to-date backups are the ones restored. Our Systems team will restore accounts from the most recent backups we have on file as soon as possible.”