Skype outage explained, now how to move forward?
The Cliffs Notes version is that a bug in an older version of the Windows client of Skype couldn't process a backlog of offline instant messages from overloaded servers. The bug wasn't in the latest Windows client, the Mac client or the clients for iPhone, TV, SkypeConnect or Skype Manager, but it did take out approximately 20 percent of all Skype users.
This in turn took down a large number of supernodes, which are essential to running the peer-to-peer network, causing widespread outages. (For a more complete explanation of the outage, go to Skype's Big Blog and for a good primer on supernodes, check out this post.)
Skype has a few plans moving forward to prevent outages like this in the future. For one, it's going to release the new, non-buggy version of the client again to encourage users to upgrade. People are often wary of updating for fear of new bugs, but in this case upgrading would have fixed a lot of the problem.
Secondly, Skype will take another look at its review and recovery processes to figure out ways to identify and bounce back from problems like the one that caused the 24-hour outage.
And finally, the company said it will be keeping a closer eye on the "capacity of our core systems" and expanding on an investment program it initiated a year ago that "significantly increased our capacity already."
How were you affected by the outage, if at all? Skype has explained and apologized for the outage. Are you back to using it? Or has the outage made you a little Skype-shy?
| December 30, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories: Digital culture, Social media, The Web
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