365 Main: Passes the Buck to Hitec for Outage


We’ve written a lot about the massive outages that occurred last week at some of Web 2.0’s brand name companies – Technorati, Yelp, Craigslist. (Om, Kevin and Adena’s thoughts). Well, here’s the latest update, 365 Main now says that three of its ten back-up generators, manufactured by Dutch company Hitec, failed to start due to an electronic glitch.

In a post on 365 Main’s site, the company says it found “a weakness” in a Hitec back-up system component called a DDEC (Detroit Diesel Electronic Controller). “A setting in the DDEC that was not allowing the component to correctly reset its memory. . . caused misfiring or engine start failures,” is how 365 Main explains it. It might be true, but technical jargon likely isn’t too reassuring to its customers.

365 Main says it has fixed the problem in its San Francisco facility as well as its El Segundo facility where the company had Hitec systems with that same component. It says it is also sharing the details of its investigation with other Hitec customers. Not everyone buys the explanation.

365 Main finishes the post with a disappointed signoff:

While we are disappointed with the discovery of the DDEC issue in our Hitecs in San Francisco and El Segundo, we have been overall pleased with Hitec’s reliability. We will continue to work closely at all levels of their organization so we are best prepared to meet the expectations of our customers.

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