Facebook Faces Biggest Ever Outages

By Cindy Waxer September 24, 2010

Facebook users had to keep their status updates to themselves this week when the world’s most popular social networking site screeched to a halt for two-and-a-half hours. It’s the worst outage Facebook has seen in four years and marked the second bout of downtime in as many days for Facebook, which was previously hit with a minor outage because of an “issue with a third-party provider.”

“The key flaw that caused this outage to be so severe was an unfortunate handling of an error condition," said Robert Johnson, Facebook’s director of software engineering, in a blog post. He explained that software designed to detect and fix such errors backfired, compounding the original problem. “An automated system for verifying configuration values ended up causing much more damage than it fixed,” he said.

“The intent of the automated system is to check for configuration values that are invalid in the cache and replace them with updated values form the persistent store,” Johnson continued. “This works well for a transient problem with the cache, but it doesn’t work when the persistent store is invalid,” he said.

The outages coincide with the much-anticipated Oct. 1 release of “The Social Network,” a film dramatizing Facebook’s transformation from a Harvard campus fad to a global phenomenon boasting more than 500 million members, up from 300 million in September of last year.

Despite online reports that Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg attended a screening of the film in Seattle, he’s unlikely to start a movie fan club. Officially, Facebook said in a brief prepared statement that “the story presented in ‘The Social Network’ doesn’t match reality. It’s a portrayal designed to lure people into movie theaters rather than tell an accurate story.” And in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in July, Zuckerberg said, “I mean, the real story is actually probably pretty boring, right? I mean, we just sat at our computers for six years and coded.”




Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More

TMC Launches The New Intelligence - an Unparalleled AI and Machine Learning Conference & Expo in Florida

By: TMCnet News    6/28/2018

TMC announced the launch of The New Intelligence conference and expo - The Event Powering the AI Revolution. This exciting new event will take place o…

Read More