Social Media

What caused the nearly seven hour long outage at Facebook

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 05, 2021

The tech giant attributed the outage to disruption in network traffic caused by a configuration issue on the backbone routers that coordinate traffic between its data centres

As its services come back online, Facebook has provided an update on the underlying issue that caused a massive outage across its platforms including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The company attributed the outage to disruption in network traffic caused by a configuration issue on the backbone routers that coordinate traffic between its data centres.

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” Facebook explained in a blog post.

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime,” it added.

Also read: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp coming back online after hours of disruption

Users from across the globe including India took to social media to complain about the trouble connecting with or accessing the platforms on Monday night. Downdetector, a service that tracks outages in internet services, had received thousands of user reports for issues with Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp on Monday night at around 9 pm IST.

“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Communications Executive at Facebook, Andy Stone had first acknowledged the issue on Twitter at 9:37 pm IST.

The services began coming back online at around 4 am IST on Tuesday morning. “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 CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook on Tuesday morning.

Also read: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram face temporary outage

The nearly seven hour long outage had impacted Facebook’s apps and products including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp as well as its virtual reality offering Oculus. It had also impacted its internal systems and tools.

The underlying cause of the outage had also impacted many of the social media major’s internal tools and systems that it uses in its day-to-day operations further complicating it’s attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem, Facebook said.

“We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient,” Facebook said in the blog post. The outage was Facebook’s worst outage since 2019, when the platform suffered downtime of more than 24 hours, as per reports.

Published on October 05, 2021

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