The most popular microblogging site Twitter has been experiencing some intermittent crashes Thursday, June 21st, rousing rage over the web. The first crash started later in the morning, around 11:59 A.M. ET, but was remedied more than an hour after, although people were having a hard time opening the main page after that.
Basing on the data from a tracking site known as Pingdom, Twitter experienced 9 outages in which 3 of those were major and the rest were minor. Here is the chronological order of the crashes;
First Crash (Minor): Around 11:03 A.M., Twitter became inaccessible but it lasted for only a minute. Only a few actually experienced this instance and never actually complained about it on the site.
Second Crash (Major): At 11:59 A.M., a major crash happened and Twitter posted an advisory on Pingdom about the outage. It assured users that its engineers were looking into the issue but it neither provided explanation why it happened nor an ETA when the problem would be fixed. But around 1:08 P.M., an update was posted saying that a resolution to the issue has been reached.
Third Crash (Minor): A minute after Twitter posted a resolution advisory, another crash happened but this time it’s minor and lasted only for a couple of minutes (1:09 to 1:11 P.M.).
Fourth Crash (Major): Around 1:42 P.M., another major disruption to Twitter service started and lasted up to 2:06 P.M. Then an advisory was posted telling users that the outage was still on-going.
Fifth Crash (Major): Just when users are starting to get furious because of the outages, another crash happened from 2:42 to 2:59 P.M. This was the last major crash for Twitter that day but no one knew except for the engineers who were working on the issue.
Other Crashes (Minor): Around 3:00 P.M. Twitter posted an advisory that the problem was fixed. There were, however, four minor crashes that last for a couple of minutes each.
“Today’s outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components,” according to the official Tweet.
In total, Twitter crashed for 120 minutes, the longest so far. While downtimes are often acceptable for websites, Twitter is actually one of the sites which cannot afford to have a longer one. On October 7, 2011, Twitter also crashed for an hour but it seemed like eternity for users. The Thursday’s crash was serious enough that it didn’t give Twitter a chance to display its famous “Fail Whale” message.