David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

Facebook Management Apologizes to Users for Massive Outage

By: David Shepherd [dshepherd@wtwo.com] – Friday, September 24, 2010

Facebook issued an apology Friday for an error that left millions of users without service this week.

In a blog post, Facebook’s Robert Johnson said, “This is the worst outage we’ve had in our four years, and we wanted to first of all apologize for it.”

The outage lasted for close to 3 hours, starting about 2:30 p.m. ET Thursday.  It is unrelated to an outage Wednesday, when  a third-party network provider shut the site down.  Users reported slow service or no service at all for several hours.

“We had entered a feedback loop that didn’t allow the databases to recover,” Johnson wrote. “The way to stop the feedback cycle was quite painful — we had to stop all traffic to this database cluster, which meant turning off the site.

“Once the databases had recovered and the root cause had been fixed, we slowly allowed more people back onto the site.”

The outage is being described as larger than the massive outage that hit the site nearly 5 years ago.  When that happened, the site had about 1.4 percent of the users it has now.

“We want you to know that we take the performance and reliability of Facebook very seriously,” Johnson wrote Thursday.

Facebook’s outage sent many users to Twitter who “tweeted” about the outage; many outraged over the service being down.

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September 24, 2010 Posted by | News & Current Events, Polls | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment