Zapp server temporarily unavailable (resolved)

The “zapp” Web server was unavailable between 8:20 and 8:40 Pacific time this morning. This resulted in an interruption of service for Web sites and e-mail on that server.

The problem was caused by a faulty hard disk in the RAID array (which theoretically shouldn’t cause a server to stop responding, but did). The hard disk has been removed from the array and will be replaced tonight at 10 PM. The server will be restarted at that time, resulting in about 4 minutes additional downtime.

We sincerely apologize for this problem. We will be investigating the root cause: it’s normal for hard drives to fail — we expect that occasionally — but it shouldn’t cause such negative effects (normally the RAID array would prevent the failure of any single drive from causing the entire machine to fail).