A fire at Swedish hosting company PRQ, owned by two of the founders of The Pirate Bay, brought down numerous torrent sites earlier today. Whilst it didn’t take out The PirateBay’s site, it did take down several of their ancillary activities, as well as other BitTorrent sites hosted there.
Initial reports are that the fire at PRQ was caused by a powerfeed to one UPS, which has now been fixed by an electrician, and that some boxes are now coming back up. The fire occurred sometime shortly before midday GMT, and took out approximately 200 servers.
PRQ’s Anakata told TorrentFreak that not everything went down because of the electrical fault, but that he had to kill the power to the entire facility in order to fix things. He added that none of the servers are permanently damaged.
The fire didn’t take out The Pirate Bay itself, much to the disappointment of some, including Swedish prosecutors. It has, however, disabled several other torrent sites and some of Pirate Bay’s services, including bayIMG, their court weblog and the Pirate Bay forums at SuprBay.
In 2007 several torrent sites moved to Sweden, and to PRQ in particular. Sweden is considered to be a safe haven for BitTorrent sites, and PRQ is popular because it is owned by TiAMO and Anakata, two of the founders of The Pirate Bay. Ironically, however, The Pirate Bay is not hosted in Sweden or at PRQ, which is probably a wise decision, you can’t have all your eggs in one basket.
Amongst the sites taken down were Waffles, Suprnova, Swebits and the popular TV-torrent site EZTV. Waffles posted the following notice on their site
FIRE AT PRQ DATACENTER
Please bear with us waffles! We’re scrambling to get you your syrup.
- The servers were not harmed.
- Even in such case, no data has been lost as we have daily offsite backups.
- Luckily, we have a brand new server already…
We are assessing whether to ship it to the new Swedish datacenter where arrangements have been made or to take the hospitality of our good friends in Canada (unrelated to what.cd’s move)
An admin at the private music tracker Waffles -one of the sites that is experiencing downtime at the moment- wasn’t happy with the downtime and told TorrentFreak: “… ridiculous. 2nd time this month we’ve had more than 6 hours downtime,” adding “I need to ship our new (much more powerful server) for waffles to a different datacenter in Sweden, before the Post Office closes.” Another admin said: “We noticed the downtime 7 hours ago, and only found out via someone else outside of PRQ about the fire”
Regardless, there will be some smiles in Hollywood and at the Swedish anti-piracy organization AntipiratbyrÃ¥n, as well as many frowns from users all around the world. More information will be added when we get it.
UPDATE 16/2/2008 20:50 GMT: Power has been restored and half the servers are now back up
UPDATE 17/2/2008 02:03 GMT: Some sites including Waffles are back, EZTV and others are still down