What’s With the Twitter Outages?

by Angela Nazworth | July 27, 2012 6:35 pm

Twitter suffered its second outage in under six weeks on Thursday. Having two outages so close together sent a wave of panic throughout the fingertips of millions of twitterers who remember the company’s early years.

If you’re like me and have been tweeting since shortly after the site’s inception, you know the fear of which I speak. However, Twitter’s infrastructure has come a long way since then so the outages are just flukes … right? That’s the scary part. They might not be flukes.

In a formal apology on behalf of the company, Twitter’s VP of Engineering Mazen Rawashdeh blamed the outages on infrastructure issues. Here’s a part of the explanation:

“The cause of today’s outage came from within our data centers. Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time.

I 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. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future.”

Twitter wasn’t the only website to experience a glitch Thursday. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG[1]) experienced an unrelated outage as did Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT[2]) public cloud site, Azure.

Endnotes:
  1. GOOG: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=GOOG
  2. MSFT: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=MSFT

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