Xero boss vents on Twitter after outage

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 14:57 05/09/2012
Rod Drury
CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ
Xero CEO Rod Drury.

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The bosses of two of Wellington's most successful technology firms, Xero and Revera, exchanged tense tweets following an outage at Revera's $40 million data centre in Auckland yesterday evening.

Revera general manager Robin Cockayne said a battery over-heated during a quarterly maintenance check, causing the data centre's gas-based fire-suppression system to trigger.

''That obviously suppressed any issues, but in doing so it cut power off to the room.''

The outage was Revera's ''first proper outage in 10 years'', Cockayne said.

Xero is a customer of the data centre and was without email for about an hour, he said.

Xero chief executive Rod Drury tweeted during the outage that the fault was causing ''major disruption'' for his team.

He berated Revera for not having a Twitter account to communicate during the outage, tweeting; ''why would a cloud data centre not have a Twitter account?''.

Commenting today, Drury said ''one of the things about the cloud is these things tend to play out quite publicly''.

''One of my suggestions to them was it would have been great to have a Twitter account so all our staff around the world would have known exactly what was going on.

"What [Xero] has learned in the few times we have had outages is it is important to communicate.

Drury said the reason he made ''a bit of an example of it'' was there had been a lot of talk over the last few months about the quality of New Zealand cloud-based offerings.

''It is important, if we are going to be doing these sorts of things, that everyone gets a good experience and we are doing worldwide best practice.

"The cool thing is everyone is learning and we are all helping each other out.''

Cockayne, who has a Twitter account, said that regarding the company's presence on Twitter, he was the ''spokesman for Revera on that front''.

Drury was ''not up to speed with exactly where we were with his recovery anyway, hence I pushed him back to his internal guys''.

''[Xero] was actually up and running before he thought it was. Rod is generally on the front foot with any of this stuff and it was a case of pointing him back to the actual mandated processes.

"His team was receiving 10-minute updates on everything.''

Contact Tom Pullar-Strecker
Email: tom.pullar-strecker@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @PullarStrecker

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