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Why Skype Was Out

December 30th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in News

Last week Skype suffered a major outage. Millions of users were affected by the outage and although Skype dished out goodies as a way of saying sorry many were still interested in knowing what had gone wrong. Now people’s thirst of this knowledge will now be quenched as the Skype CIO, Lars Rabbe has explained what exactly the matter was. It so happens that the Skype for Windows client had a bug. On Wednesday the 22, a number of support servers that are responsible for offline instant messaging became overheated. The overloaded servers caused delayed responses which had not been properly processed by the affected Windows client (version 5.0.0152). Initially not all Skype users were affected. Skype users who had the newer or the older Windows software or those who were accessing the service on iPhone, TV sets or Mac were doing OK. However the whole system eventually collapsed owing to the fact that 50 percent of Skype users run the faulty Windows client version. 40 percent of these clients failed which represented a third of supernodes which in turn also failed. Many of the people who had the crashing Windows clients rebooted their software which made the traffic to the supernodes increase to around 100 times of the normal traffic making the whole situation one big mess. Well the issue has since been resolved and we hope that the measures put in place will ensure that this does not happen again.

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