Excite

Christmas disaster

When a company provides a valuable internet service to millions of users for free, people can hardly complain if its servers go down once in a while. But when that company is Skype, which millions of people rely on to communicate with far-flung relatives; and when the downtime lasts several hours, and it happens a couple of days before Christmas, complaints are inevitable.

So it's probably bad news that, er, Skype went down for several hours on December 22nd. The system's complicated underpinnings - calls don't go through central Skype servers, but on a peer-to-peer basis - made it tricky for the company to fix the problem or even measure the scale of it (they had to create 'mega-supernodes', which doesn't sound like a fun thing to do instead of Christmas shopping).

Of course, it all got sorted out by the early hours of the 23rd, and crikey, if you really need to speak to your cousin Troy in Hong Kong, just pick up the darn phone and pay, right? Still, if Skype are going to convince companies to become more reliant on their systems, they can't afford this kind of thing.

Did you get caught up in the Great Christmas Skype Outage of 2010? Tell us your horror stories in the comments...

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2017