An Open Letter To People Affected By 123-Reg Deleting Their VPS Servers

Michael Burke, the author, has over 10 years of experience working in the Internet sector

Michael Burke

Web & Mobile Expert, Technical Director of Emerald Creative

On Saturday 16th April 2016, hundreds (if not thousands) of customers who use 123-reg for their website and VPS hosting saw their websites vanish in front of their eyes. Many emails were exchanged to their customer support team, but at the time of writing on 18th April 2016 many customers are still without their websites or servers.

What Happened To 123-Reg's VPS Servers?

The company has blamed a "clean up" procedure for the outage. This basically means 123-Reg ran an automated script checking what servers they had running on their systems against what they should have on their database. When the script found a VPS that wasn't listed on the database, it deleted it.

From reading various articles on this subject, looking at social media and speaking to clients who have friends affected by this, it truly is a horrible day for anyone running an online business. The customers who have been affected since Saturday have been without a web presence with absolutely zero chance of getting them back online. In a lot of cases, 123-reg have been unable to locate the backup for that customers particular service. This puts the customer in a horrible position: the potential loss of their business.

It's easy to say now what 123-Reg should have done to prevent this ever happening, but it's harder to work out why they did this in the first place. It's an unwritten rule - although maybe someone should write it down! - that you don't mix a command that has the potential to erase a server with an automated system without some sort of check. If this had happened with 123-Reg's automation, where these servers were flagged up as not being on the database to one of their engineers, there would have been a chance that this error was spotted and this nightmare would have never happened.

But it didn't happen like that. And now business owners, ranging from self employed "one man band" startups through to multinational companies are waking up on Monday to the realisation that their business has been deleted from the internet. Not just their servers.

What Can I Do To Save My Business Website?

To those people who are affected, you have my thoughts today. I have worked with clients who have been screwed over by web developers, web companies and server administrators who promised the Earth in the past. Companies and people who have cost our clients a lot of money in the past. It's horrible, I wouldn't wish this on any competitor or enemy.

If we here at Emerald Creative can provide any sort of assistance to you then do not hesitate to get in touch. We can provide you hosting and server space that is extremely reliable and backed up daily, and an actual person on the end of a phone to help you in the darkest hour of your business's life.

All of our servers, all of our clients' websites are backed up daily for no extra cost. We do this as standard, as the absolute minimum in our commitment to our customers and their businesses.

Find Our More About Our Web Hosting Service

You can Tweet us at @emcsUK, follow us on Emerald Creative's Facebook page, email us at, or call us on 0121 285 1987.

What's more, there is already legal action being planned against 123-Reg and this situation. Information about it can be seen below in the tweet.

We appreciate every client we have helped in our line of work, even those who have called us just to ask us a question. We value your business, because we know you always have a choice.

Posted in Business, Security on 18th April 2016

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