SaaS Provider SSP encounters repetitive failure

Customers of SSP were informed that both service recovery and data recovery would take some time following a repeat hardware failure on Thursday 1 September. SSP, a leading SaaS Provider to the insurance industry boasts 8 of the top 10 UK insurance companies as customers, with over 40% of UK market share. It supports 50,000 users across 50 countries and sends 3 million quotes to UK comparison sites daily. On  26th August SSP experiences their first outage, apparently caused by a power interruption to their data centre and further failure of a backup generator. Customers affected, who were hosted in SSP’s Solihull data centre were unable to prepare new quotes for customers or renew existing policies leaving them concerned about loss of business.

A second subsequent failure, occurring on 1 September in SSP’s storage facility, has left them facing further embarrassment, and unable to restore service to customers on 1st September. SSP commented “The ‘Storage Area Network’ (SAN) is the high volume disk array that is at the centre of the service. It comprises a large number of storage disks, grouped into cassettes, over which the business and configuration data that supports our systems is housed. It was damage to a small number of these disks following the exceptional disruption to power supply that caused the original loss of service.With support from HP we have dealt with the original damage to the disks and were a long way through the process of restoring the environments and data required to support our customers, when the work was interrupted by a recurrence of the original problem”

The COO at SSP gave the statement: “Unfortunately, during the evening of 1 September we encountered a further unexpected hardware failure in our storage facility. This has set back our timeline for getting service restored to the customers affected by the incident. The restoration process is clearly taking longer than we hoped, and we recognise that this is extremely problematic and disappointing for our customers. We are providing regular customer updates and continuing to work to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, and to get our affected customers up and running. This is our top priority.”

Customers have been left wondering why SSP don’t have better resilience and disaster recovery planning which would prevent interruption of service whilst their main platform is being fixed. Read more about this story