Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peter Gabriel's Been Shut Down

Pop singer Peter Gabriel's Web site has been shut down since Monday after an undisclosed number of servers were stolen from his hosting provider’s data center.

Gabriel’s site doesn’t give a whole lot of information about what exactly happened. It simply reads: "We'll Be Back Soon - apologies for the lack of service. Real World, Peter Gabriel and WOMAD web services are currently off-line. Our servers were stolen from our ISP's data centre on Sunday night - Monday morning. We are working on restoring normal service as soon as possible." (There's no evidence of a sledgehammer being used during the break-in).

However, a little sleuthing reveals that the victimized data center appears to belong to Rednet Ltd, a bankrupt subsidiary of Opal Telecom, a Web hosting service provider.

Without the server housing his data, who knows how long Gabriel will remain without a Web site? But the real question is “how did these thieves get away with robbing a data center?”

I’ve had the opportunity to visit a few data centers. Each had such high security, I’d take my chances robbing Fort Knox before attempting to steal something from one of these data centers. Data centers are typically housed at confidential, undisclosed locations that are protected with armed personnel around the clock. In case that’s not enough, entry protection tools, such as biometric devices and secure token cards, are used to control and audit access. Did Opal Telecom forget to invest in these things?

Unless these thieves were invisible, it looks like Gabriel needs a better data center.

-- Michelle Savage

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