Engineer security servers

Lloyds Bank – 2 out of 7 servers “down”

Problems with Lloyds Bank & TSB cashpounts attributed to failiure of 2 out of 7 servers by BBC.

Interesting article on BBC Radio 4 Today Prog this morning. Apparently last night some Lloyds & TSB customers were unable to use their debit cards for a couple of hours or so. Not me. I was at home.

The point is that apparently two servers were down. It’s a bit of an eyebrow raiser that this could happen with just two servers going down. Doesn’t sound like good capacity planning. I’d have thought they’d be load balanced with plenty of headroom on each server that would allow for such an eventuality.

Can’t be right unless there’s something specific re security for such systems that doesn’t allow them to do that.

One wonders what would have caused two servers to go down at the same time. Rack outage maybe? No generator bup? Suspect we won’t find out and I’m only mildly interested.

The other observation relates to that comment by the reporter re people at petrol stations whose cards were rejected.  Unless they had alternative means of payment they had to wait at the petrol station until someone came along and paid for them.

Petrol stations in my experience can fail over to a manual card swipe using old fashioned slips of paper. Maybe not all of them. Or maybe because the card processing system was not “down” generally the specific Lloyds customers weren’t trusted.

That’s all.

PS no such thing as 100% uptime – see this post on Vodafone outage

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

3 replies on “Lloyds Bank – 2 out of 7 servers “down””

It could also be something as “simple” as an intrusion detection trigger going into “Fail-Safe” mode, but even if we had some insight, it shouldn’t be discussed here !

I’m told on Twitter it was a maintenance window that went wrong. I’b happy to discuss it but it’s unlikely that anyone involved would do so.

Having come from an ISP I understand the game. When Google had a Gmail outage we never heard the cause. Just “our engineers are working on it”. Giving out details opens up a can of worms that you can do without when you are rushing around like a blue arsed fly trying to fix the problem.


If two out of seven went down and caused this much havoc I dread to think what any more going down might have caused, one of those meetings of COBRA perhaps?

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