‘Freak Double Data Center Failure’ Causes Twitter Outage
A freak double failure in its data centers took Twitter down for around
an hour Thursday, leaving millions without updates from friends,
celebrities and news providers a day ahead of the Olympics.
“We are sorry,” said Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter’s vice president of engineering, in a message on the company’s support blog.
of you came to Twitter earlier today expecting, well, Twitter. Instead,
between around 8:20 am and 9:00 am Pacific Time (10:20 am to 11:00 pm Jakarta time ),
users around the world got zilch from us,” he said.
10:25 am (1925 GMT) Pacific Time, people who came to Twitter finally got
what they expected: Twitter,” he said, after the service was gradually
restored and many users posted messages expressing relief in sarcastic
“Wow. Wasn’t sure I’d survive that @twitter outage. I even
took to Facebook. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Thankful
it’s back,” Michael Schlact tweeted.
“Took time during the
Twitter outage to explore some self-improvement,” Jason Carlin tweeted.
“I’ve written two novels, learned Esperanto, and knitted a sweater.”
month the service was taken down for several hours by what the company
described as a “cascading bug,” but the company said this time it had
fallen victim to a double failure in its data centers.
centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails, as
everything does at one time or another, a parallel system takes over,”
Rawashdeh said in a message to users.
“What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time.
wish I could say that today’s outage could be explained by the Olympics
or even a cascading bug. Instead, it was due to this infrastructural
double-whammy,” he explained.
“We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future,” he promised.
its early days, Twitter was notoriously unstable and would display a
picture known as the “fail whale” on its home page when it experienced
one of its frequent outages.
The service has become more reliable over the past couple of years, however, and down time is now infrequent.
At the Olympics, athletes are expected to share their Twitter handles, and tweet their experiences using the site.
which allows its members to post brief comments, links or pictures,
claims to have more than 140 million active users, with the largest
number being in the United States.
A recent survey found one in seven Americans who go online use Twitter and eight percent do so every day.