As you might have notices, this blog as well as all appenzeller.net email was down for the past few days. The reason was an explosion in The Planet‘s Houston H1 data center, that took out power for our server and about 9,000 other servers as well. More information here. About 700,000 web sites were reported off-line, amongst them b3ta. Assuming the back-up generators hold up, things should be stable for now.
All of this seems to be another good argument for virtualization. While I am not sure how well something like EC2 is set up for an equipment failure like this, at least in theory having multiple data canters and a distributed S3 would allow you to migrate the virtual machines to another center.