he “very important meeting” is going to be held soon. To prepare a “good environment” for the meeting, massive websites in China were shutdown. This time, much different from the previous actions, it is the whole data center instead of websites or servers that were shutdown.Let me take few famous IDCs (Internet Data Center) as examples. Zitian, an IDC in Luoyang was shutdown completely, and all the 500 servers were unplugged from Internet, and tens of thousands of websites hosted there were inaccessible on Aug 24. Among them is the largest traffic tracking site 51.la, and this infected a very big portion of Internet websites in China.

Soon, on Aug 28, Lanmang, the other IDC in Shantou faced the same situation. Again, tens of thousands of websites were complete inaccessible. An unconfirmed news said the data center closed in Shantou has 3000 servers, and they are all closed. Lanmang has to hire lots of trunks to put all these servers and distribute the servers into many other data centers across China. I doubt this can work, since the fate of other data centers may not be better after few days. However, what else can they do? I understand how painful people feel when a site is shutdown.

After that, news about whole IDC was shutdown came one after one, and each time, at least hundreds of servers were complete unplugged from Internet. Since these IDC host about 100 to 200 websites per server, I cannot imagine how many sites were shutdown. If this continues, I guess the total number of shutdown sites may quickly be one million. In Shanghai, many data centers were very simply completely unplugged, and each time, hundreds of servers or tens of thousands of websites were disconnected from Internet. The Waigaoqiao Data Center, the largest and one of the most advanced data centers in Shanghai were completely closed these days.

That is just the beginning. The recent order from the “top guy” requires all Internet Data Center to mandatory close all “interactive sites”. These sites include any kind of blogging, any kinds of BBS, or online forum, any kinds of comment features available on or content site. They really mean it this time. Many of my friends have closed the comment feature of their personal blog – many not be themselves, but by the hosting company.

It seems the pressure from top really makes people take it seriously. These days, all kinds of people are busy.

  • Telecom companies are busy unplugging Internet cable for data centers one by one.
  • Hosting companies that were already shutdown are either busy find out solutions for the closed sites, or handle waves of customer complains, or both.
  • Those hosting company or sites which were lucky enough not have been shutdown are busy shutdown “interactive sites” themselves, to avoid the whole data center run into bigger problem.
  • Bigger websites are preparing contingency plans about what they will do when they were shutdown.
  • All kinds of small site webmasters, or independent bloggers are busy signing up hosting package from abroad (I would be interested to know how many more orders bluehost, dreamhost, or ipowerweb got from China these days)
  • Bloggers hosting their blog on BSP can only keep their finger across and pray for their little blog.

If you ask me how I feel, as a blogger in China, I would say I am very very very frustrated about it.

Posted by Jian Shuo Wang at September 4, 2007 10:14 PM