Fire at authorize.net grinds e-commerce to a halt

Score one for bricks and mortar shopping.

Seattle based authorize.net was offline for hours this morning following a fire at a data center at Seattle’s Fisher’s Plaza. Reportedly many companies were affected, but authorize.net is the only one responsible for millions of online transactions daily. The fire apparently triggered sprinkler systems, as fires often do, and brought down many machines that haven’t been offline “in years.”

To keep customers informed of the status of repairs and accessibility, the company wisely set up a Twitter account. A series of dramatic tweets were ushered in by this first one at 11AM EST:

#authorizenet We are down due to a fire at our primary data center in Seattle. We are working to restore services, but no ETA at this time.

Around noon, the company updated:

#authorizenet I understand transaction processing is back up with the exception of Global processing. We are working to bring that up ASAP.

Although the company has provided information about the current status of transaction processing, questions remain about transactions posted during the outage:

#authorizenet Lots of questions re: post downtime e.g. transactions without auth code. Will post comm with answers once I have them.

Teams hope to restore power to the building by 1:30PM PST. This is the second major epic fail outage at Fisher Plaza in the past year.