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Skype Says Lockout Caused By Reboot After Windows Update Patch

     
1:15 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/webmaster/3423718.htm [webmasterworld.com] by engine - 6:58 pm on Aug. 20, 2007 (utc +1)


(Posted at 5:35 AM GMT, updated first two paragraphs at 11:45 AM GMT)

On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our usersí computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skypeís network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

Normally Skypeís peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. Regrettably, as a result of this disruption, Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately two days.

[heartbeat.skype.com...]

2:28 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I just read that myself. It sounds logical, except for one thing - automatic updates and accompanying restarts are nothing new, so why hasn't this happened before?
6:15 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I as well had a problem after the update that makes no sense either.
My secure side did not work after the update.

The site was fine but returned a 404 if you tried to buy anything. My server was updated Friday nite and I caught the erroe Sat Morning.

I have a wonderful hosting co and it was fixed withing 30 minutes.

On a dedicated server. Not sure what was added to cause this.

6:52 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Man - this sounds kinda fishy..I guess it's none of my business, but if I was paying for skype services this explanation would not soothe my fears on iota.
7:23 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is understandable and has happened in the past with other consumer products. However, i'm guessing that most people, like the above poster, will simply be more confused than before. It would've been better for Skype to send some one-off, useless PR apology.
7:40 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Skype Says Lockout Caused By Reboot After Windows Update Patch

Actually, Skype admits it's their software problem:

Normally Skype's peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly.
8:12 pm on Aug 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Windows Update explanation seems a bit bizarre. After all, Microsoft has been delivering automatic updates (and simultaneous reboots) every month since 2003. Something still isnít adding up.

From ZDNet
[blogs.zdnet.com...]

9:41 am on Aug 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

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There's indeed something very wrong with the explanation itself. Shifting the blame to Microsoft is all to easy. Microsoft even defended itself: [blogs.technet.com...]

Many theories out there to the real cause, none come with proof. Make up your own mind.

Basically the POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) might be overpriced for some uses (mainly international calls etc.), but they are reliable. This isn't a fluke, this is by design and solid engineering that they got there.
Now such engineering costs money (long since repaid in the traditional telco sector), so if you want to start a (any, not just Skype) cheap to free alternative, you cannot make those expenses.

There is one thing that skype just doesn't get when they wrote things like "our users’ security was not, at any point, at risk":
Availability is by definition port of security (CIA), as such not being available is by definition a security problem.

Just keep that land-line in case you ever need to dial 911, 112, or whatever the alarm number is in your 'hood of the world.