Post Update: The DNS Migration has been successfully completed. Details may be found on the WP Engine Status Blog: https://wpengine.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/dns-migration-successfully-completed/
On behalf of everyone at WP Engine, I would like to apologize for the outages you may have experienced yesterday. The issues were the result of a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack coordinated against our DNS provider. Depending on how you point your domain to WP Engine, your sites may or may not have been affected yesterday. Our own website, User Portal and other tools were also affected.
Needless to say, we’ve clearly been very unhappy with the way our provider has handled the mitigation of these attacks, particularly because of the effect on so many of our customers.
To add context, our DNS provider utilizes 5 geographically redundant (i.e., different) nameservers designed to serve as backups in case of an attack or a problem with a single set of nameservers. This particular attack was sophisticated and coordinated enough to bring down the entire network of redundant nameservers for a good part of the day on Wednesday. (It’s worth noting that the attack was not aimed at any WP Engine client.)
In spite of that geographic redundancy, clearly things didn’t work, and we remain as unhappy and disappointed with their response and handling of the situation as our clients are.
To offer the amazing product that we all stand behind at WP Engine, we must also partner with the best providers possible, including DNS providers. DNS providers offer the critical service that allows our customers to manage the domain names of their various web properties. Like most hosting companies, we don’t run our own DNS servers and rely on expert partners to provide this service for our company, and for our customers.
What are we doing to resolve this once and for all?
Clearly this partner has let us all down, and so WP Engine is in the process of migrating to a new partner. This decision has been made internally, and we’re taking appropriate steps towards a smooth DNS transition. We’ve heard many of you suggest the same on social media, and we are in complete agreement, and share your disappointment in the outages as well.
We are working with other DNS providers to plan the migration away from our current provider, which will mean an overall improvement across the board to the service you already receive from WP Engine. We are also taking steps to ensure the weaknesses with our current provider will not be present with the new provider. We expect zero downtime during that switch-over, so it will be seamless as that project proceeds.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we work to resolve this issue once and for all. We will continue to keep you appraised and informed as we have more information.