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.
- Switching from iPhone to Android: what I miss, what I don't
- Tech City: Easy to score when you move the goalposts
- How to remove SkyDrive from the Windows 8.1 Explorer
- Switching from iPhone to Android? Switch off iMessage
- Why is Google pumping more money into Firefox?
- Sky Broadband Shield review
- Samsung Galaxy S4: how to double your battery life
- Motorola Moto G review: first look
- IBM Watson meets Willy Wonka
- Google’s support policies shove users towards Chrome
- The importance of load balancing
- Windows Phone App Studio: an easy way to create your first Windows Phone 8 app
- The end of Windows XP support: what it really means for businesses
- Don't rely on Chrome's password vault
- Using Buffer to manage your social media
- Microsoft needs its own Steve Jobs
- Forget credit cards: hackers want your Facebook account
- Can't get fast enough broadband? Here's what to do
- Leap Motion and the battle against UI stagnation
- How to build a really bad network