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Westpac promises review into outage

Westpac has restored its online banking service following a prolonged outage, caused by an air-conditioning fault at a data centre.

The bank's group executive for retail and business banking, Rob Coombe, has also apologised to customers, promising a review of the events that caused the system failures.

"The fault has been fully rectified," the bank said in a statement. "Customers can conduct all online banking transactions as per normal. Customers can also access ATMs and EFTPOS facilities which were restored this morning."

The bank had fixed issues with several of its ATM and EFTPOS facilities following the glitch that left customers unable to use the bank's services this morning. Online banking, however, took a little longer to bring back online.

"We take systems reliability extremely seriously and are very disappointed by the inconvenience to our customers and will undertake a thorough review," Coombe promised in the statement.

Read more about Westpac's IT strategy in Proving the value of IT.

Data centre specialist and director of Adelaide-based company, Computer Site Solutions, Mike Lockett, said the incident was a timely reminder for Australian businesses to review the capacity of their data centres to cope with power and cooling issues.

"It's vital data centres have additional power and cooling that can be utilised if one of the air conditioning units or power sources fail," Lockett said. "We know from experience that many centres just don't have this capacity and it makes them extremely vulnerable."

Lockett said the price of redundancy was a small price to pay compared to the loss of business and customer goodwill.

"In the case of Westpac, it not only impacted their operations but those of their thousands of customers who rely on their ATM and EFTPOS facilities," he said. "The damage to their business and that of their customers could run into millions of dollars."

Westpac is encouraging all customers concerned about fees that may have been incurred as a result of this outage to contact their local bank manager or a customer service representative on 132 032.

Follow Georgina Swan on Twitter: @swandives

Follow CIO Australia on Twitter: @CIO_Australia

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