Skype blames "super nodes" for massive system failure
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 23 Dec 2010 at 08:22
VoIP provider Skype is still struggling to get its business back to normal after a service black-out caused disruption for millions of users around the world.
According to the company, the crash stemmed from a problem with the “super nodes” on its network and Skype alluded to software as the root cause of the failure.
“Skype isn’t like a conventional phone or IM network – instead, it relies on millions of individual connections between computers and phones to keep things up and running. Some of these computers are what we call ‘super nodes’ – they act a bit like phone directories for Skype,” the company said in a statement.
“Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of super nodes available, but today many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.”
Skype has yet to explain whether the fault was the result of a software upgrade glitch or an external attack on the super nodes.
During the night, the company said it had resolved the problem, but many users are still suffering from the fault and the company posted via Twitter that services may take some time to return to normal.
“Thanks for your continued patience while we get everyone back online,” the company said. “Sorry especially to those of you who are still waiting.”
The company said it was creating new super nodes as quickly as possible, but some features, such as group video calling, would take longer to repair than others.
According to Skype, the issue did not impact enterprise products such as Skype Connect and Skype Manager, but the outage renewed questions over the wisdom of relying on internet telephony alone.
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office