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Skype CIO explains 24 hour outage
Posted: 29-Dec-2010 [Source: Mobile Tech News]

[According to Skype CIO, Lars Rabbe, a 24 hour service outage was caused by a software glitch in a Skype for Windows client.]

Robert Whitinger, Mobile Tech News -- Skype's P2P network became unstable on December 22 resulting in a service outage lasting approximately 24 hours. According Lars Rabbe, the post-mortem went something like this:

First, a cluster of servers became overloaded. The overload caused response delays which triggered a known bug in the Skype for Windows client version 5.0.0152, a version which is run by about 50% of all Skype users. About 25-30% of the affected clients were publicly available supernodes which are responsible for maintaining directories and organising local P2P subgroups.

Then, the large number of restarting Windows clients caused 100 times the normal traffic to the remaining supernodes, causing more supernodes to start shutting down. This cascade of failures eventually resulted in a loss of Skype service for many users.

Service was restored only after Skype brought online several thousand "mega-supernodes" to provide enough capacity to re-seed the P2P network.

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