No matter where you choose to do your cloud computing these days, September is off to a rough start. First Google Doc’s is knocked offline for over an hour on Wednesday, and Microsoft followed suit on Friday, falling off the grid for close to three hours. Microsoft’s service disruption impacted several free services such as Hotmail and Skydrive, but also premium offerings including Office 365.
Following the recent outage at its Web hosting business that brought down several websites, both big and small, Amazon today offered an apology to customers and a long winded technical explanation of what went wrong. Amazon also said it would be giving affected custoemrs a 10-day service credit equal to 100 percent of their usage of EBS Volumes, EC2 Instances, and RDS database instances. The credit will be automatically applied to their next AWS bill, Amazon said.
After being hammered by a massive distributed denial of service attack yesterday, blog host WordPress.com was barely able to get things up and running like normal before getting walloped a second time in two days. This time, however, WordPress managed to get a handle on the situation rather quickly, though there's still no word on why it was hit with repeated attacks.
Blog host Wordpress.com is one of the world's leading content platforms, but it has been hammered today by a gigantic distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Wordpress has described the assault as the largest they have ever endured. Unsurprisingly, many sites have been having serious stability issues as a result.
Twitter has been having more than its fair share of stability issues this last month. The web service has previously pointed to the World Cup as the cause, but many consider that passing the buck. Twitter has been working on a server upgrade plan during this period of high traffic, and the results are causing more downtime than users have seen in over a year. In order to deal with the network issues, Twitter today cut their API limit dramatically, from 350 per hour to 175.
The API limit puts a cap on how many queries an application can make via the Twitter API in a one hour period. This change effectively reduces the traffic Twitter is likely to see. About 75% of Twitter's total traffic comes in from the API. Even Twitter's branded mobile apps are being forced to deal with the caps.
The decreased rate of 175 is a relief to some; the API cap was slashed to only 75 for a few hours earlier in the day. Twitter's Matt Harris warns that it is entirely possible the limit will have to be lowered again for periods of time in the next few weeks. Are you a heavy Twitter user? Have you run into the API limit just like in the old days?
If you're a twitter user, you might have noticed the popular social site has been having more downtime than usual this month. According to a new blog post from Twitter, this last month has seen the most Fail Whales since last October. What's to blame for this degradation in service? Well, a big part of it is that everyone and their second cousin is tweeting about the World Cup.
Since the World Cup was a planned event, many have suggested Twitter should have been more prepared. The popular site explains they could never have anticipated the "unprecedented spikes in activity". Twitter says that they are working to make real-time adjustments to their setup to avoid excessive downtime, and a more long-term solution is in the works. How many Fail Whales are you seeing out there?
Microsoft's revamped and rebranded search decision engine has been doing so well that you hate to see something like this happen. But in the evening hours last night, Bing fell flat on its face for about 30 minutes, during which time users were either unable to get to the site, or received incomplete results pages to queries.
"The cause of the outage was a configuration change during some internal testing that had unfortunate and unintended consequences," Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President, Online Service Division, wrote on the official Bing Team blog. "As soon as the issue was detected, the change was rolled back, which caused the site to return to normal behavior. Unfortunately the detection and rollback took about half an hour, and during that time uses were unable to use bing.com."
Nadella went on to say that they're running a post mortem to find out what improvements need to be made to their software and processes so this doesn't happen again.
This certainly isn’t the kind of publicity the fourth place cell carrier in the US wants. As of now, the entire nationwide T-Mobile network is down. Complaints began flooding twitter and forums this afternoon from all over the country. Users are reporting that their phones show the expected signal, but no calls or data are available. Curiously, calls routed through Google Voice are working as expected.
When the complaints reached a fever pitch shortly ago, T-Mobile released a statement. “T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions impacting voice and data. Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible. We will provide updates as more information is available,” said a T-Mobile representative.
We at MaximumPC have confirmed for ourselves by ringing a few associates on T-Mobile. Sure enough, the angelic voices of our friends and neighbors were replaced by a busy signal every time. This matches reports from elsewhere. Hopefully details will emerge later on the exact cause. If you’re a T-Mobile user, can you confirm you have no service?
Sorry for the late notice, but we're going to be taking Maximum PC offline for an hour or so later this evening, starting around 9PM Pacific/midnight Eastern. If you're reading this, we're back. Woo! The good news is that we're taking the site down to upgrade the hardware (more on that later), which should result in snappier load times and less downtime, even when the site is running under extremely heavy loads. I'll be posting status updates on my Twitter, as I don't have much else to do during the migration. If you notice anything weird after the site comes back up, please post about it in the comments.
First off, if you're seeing this, welcome to the new Maximum PC website! Now that you're over here, be sure to give Norm's Guided Tour a look-see and check out all the cool stuff we've added to the site. I couldn't be more excited about both the new design changes we've added, as well as the staff we've brought on to keep content flowing to the new site on a daily basis. We've got a few familiar faces in our blogger corps, as well as a bunch of new folks, so please feel free to drop into everyone's threads and say hello to anyone you don't know already.
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