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Small Firms Shafted by GoDaddy Outage

Monday's shutdown left some entrepreneurs stranded--and steamed.
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GoDaddy wasn't the only business suffering from a big outage Monday. Thousands of small business owners that use the provider for hosting and domain name registration also ended up slammed by the shutdown.

The cause of the outage was "a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables," the domain name registrar and Web hosting company said Tuesday in a press release. "The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS)," the press release said.

Earlier news reports had attributed the blackout to a dedicated denial of service attack launched by Anonymous, the hacker group that has claimed responsibility for recent Web shutdowns of some of the largest companies in the world, including MasterCard and Visa.

The outage, which lasted about six hours, riled small business owners who were settling in to work for the afternoon.

"I had 300 emails to catch up on from last week," says Lisa Marie Latino, sole proprietor of video production company Longshot Productions, in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Latino says she has been using GoDaddy for domain name registration, Web hosting, and email for about three years. Latino also designs websites for some of her clients and says she uses GoDaddy to host those as well.

Latino says she lost about four hours of work yesterday afternoon. "I had clients needing invoices and proposals and contracts and answers on stuff, and when that happened, I was locked out of everything," Latino says.

Elsewhere, the GoDaddy shutdown prompted more misgivings, along with customer departures. In a posting on Quora first reported by Tech Crunch, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskowitz--now co-founder at collaboration and workflow app maker Asana--said the outage would hasten his new company's departure from GoDaddy.

GoDaddy did not immediately return calls or an email for comment. Various news reports noted that VeriSign, an Internet security company that also does domain name registry and manages ".com" and ".net" domain names, helped out by picking up some of the domain name server traffic.

Latino is considering switching providers too, she says, but more than anything she wants an explanation from GoDaddy: "Small business owners live and die to make our clients happy, and GoDaddy should apply the same mentality," Latino says.

GoDaddy said in its press release that it has taken measures to prevent similar blackouts from occurring again.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Scott Beale
Last updated: Sep 11, 2012

JEREMY QUITTNER | Staff Writer | Staff Writer, Inc. and Inc.com

Jeremy Quittner is a staff writer for Inc. magazine and Inc.com. He previously covered technology for American Banker and entrepreneurship for BusinessWeek.




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