Facebook International Outage

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Facebook International Outage


Earlier this week, Facebook had an outage which caused the company’s internal staff – as well as 3.5 billion users – being unable to access the network, apps and services including Whatsapp and Instagram for almost 6 hours. 


Mark Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook account on Monday evening “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about”.


Facebook has since shared a blog about the outage which stated the problem was due to configuration changes. “Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”


It took so long to resolve the problem – almost 6 hours – which has had massive implications. According to Bloomberg, Zuckerberg’s personal wealth fell by more than $6billion within a few hours and plummeted the social-media giant’s stock by 4.9% on Monday.


Furthermore, the Whatsapp platform alone is a communications tool used by many businesses worldwide. The unavailability of this will have impacted doctors contacting patients, business speaking with colleagues and customers, and many others.


This mistake has highlighted the risks with having so many online services relying on a single point. It also showcased the volume of the population who rely on the apps and use them daily!

The mistake and response has really proved how integral strong IT teams are to an organisation to keep everyone working as normal, keep businesses afloat and prevent financial and data losses. 

I think every industry can learn from this mistake, Facebook has some of the best tech engineers in the world and yet something went wrong. All IT teams need to reflect on their processes and plan for emergencies to keep processes running smoothly.



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