December 24, 2010

Perhaps They Should Have Tested More - Skype (Again)

Supernodes not so super?

Skype once again had a worldwide outage related to software problems in their supernodes:
  • blocked millions of people from making Internet phone calls
  • crash left a large chunk of Skype's 560 million users with nowhere to go
  • was completely offline for more than three hours on Wednesday
  • experienced its biggest global outage in three years
  • was caused by a “software issue” with the “supernodes” 
  • the company plans to issue compensation vouchers 
  • the bigger question is whether businesses should be relying on these services in the first place
It's not the first time the service has gone down.  

In August of 2007, Skype was down for several days.  A faulty algorithm in their supernodes was exposed when many users rebooted their client machines while installing a Windows update: 

Certainly those supernodes are tricky.  

But perhaps Skype should have tested more, particularly after the worldwide failure just a few years ago?

Read more at: 

December 29th - an update from Skype's CIO Lars Rabbe:

"we will be reviewing our testing processes to determine better ways of detecting and avoiding bugs which could affect the system"

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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