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When the problem occurs for me, other people in the office can still reach the page I can't get to.
We recently noticed this happening more and more, then on Tuesday 23rd June our traffic suddenly dropped by about 25% compared to normal. Our server monitoring reports show a sudden change in response times and transfer rates around 22nd/23rd June (response going from 0.8 seconds to 1.2, transfer rate going from 800kbps to 600kbps) and it has remained that way since.
I contacted my hosting company and they said a "a provider of ours suffered a fiber cut that has shifted how some bandwidth is routed into our network"........"traffic should normalize for you after the repair is completed, but I cannot guarantee it".
I'm wondering if this, the user specific unavailability of the site for short periods and our drop in traffic are all related?
Any advice, comments would be appreciated.
If the routing error is affecting you, then it is surely randomly affecting other visitors too. The responsibility is firmly in the hands of your hosting company, if the situation persists and they are unwilling to help, then you should start to look elsewhere for a hosting solution.
There's no error message, it's the standard Internet Explorer page cannot be found page.
We raised this in December last year and managed to run a DNS report when it happened which revealed one of the hosts nameservers wasn't responding at that precise moment. Seconds later everything was fine again.
Our hosts made some adjustments to zone files etc. and things seemed to improve although the problem didn't go away. It now seems more noticeable again.
As you say, if I notice it, many of our potential visitors must do also, and probably go elsewhere. I'm not sure if this is something that could also impact on our search engine rankings as well, but it seems reasonable to assume robots encounter the issue occasionally as well.
Maybe the recent network issue has highlighted the underlying issue which sounds like it could be DNS related again?
Are your nameservers provided by your hosting provider? How many are listed? Do you run bind or a similar DNS service directly on your own server, or are you using shared hosting?
We have a dedicated server using our host's primary and secondary nameservers.
Just had the problem again actually. I quickly ran a DNS report and did a traceroute but all came up okay. I'm fairly confident it's something in our DNS set up - it's just a matter of catching it so I can prove it.
Also noticed in the traceroute details that the route is London, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Chicago, host nameservers whereas before it went London, New York, Chicago, host. That's added 20 milliseconds and a few more places it could all fall down I suppose.
I'm pretty confident it's their nameservers but I can't get over the coincidence of our traffic drop on the same day they had the "fiber cut" incident with their network.
You should try disabling the toolbar's interception of server messages so you get the standard Windows or remote server error messages instead. See here:
I wonder if the fiber cut incident exagerated an underlying DNS issue and prevented even more visitors making it to the site.
The 'oops this link appears broken' issue has happened less since the fiber cut issue was fixed, but it's still happening so I have a feeling we're still losing visitors but at a much lower rate.
Time to hassle my hosts a bit more I think. I'm convinced this is an issue with their nameservers. The only time we've been able to prove anything it was there secondary nameserver that didn't respond.
Ideally, you should have at least three nameservers on different IP blocks, and geographically separated. There are a few companies offering DNS services (for a fee) and which are often much more robust than a hosting company's DNS setup.