Skype burns off supernodes, suffers outage

By on December 23, 2010
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Shortage of ‘supernodes’ lead to massive outage of the popular VOIP service.

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Skype suffered a worldwide outage today, bringing the entire parts of the service down.

Users started reporting problems signing in to the popular VOIP service at around 8PM PST, while those who were already signed in reported problem making or receiving calls. Of course, in most such crisis, users turned to Twitter to spread out the message.

Skype communcations head Peter Parkes explained, in a blog post, that the outage was caused by a short of ‘supernodes’, which keeps the service ticking.

”If you want to talk to someone, and your Skype app can’t find them immediately (for example, because they’re connecting from a different location or from a different device) your computer or phone will first try to find a supernode to figure out how to reach them,” he said.

”Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of supernodes available. Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.”

Later on, CEO Tony Bates told the BBC that nearly 10 million calls – around half of the service’s daily volume – had been lost due to the outage.

Skype’s latest Twit update assures users that the service is ‘now returning to normal’, though expect less-than normal performance for a couple of days as the service is slowly healed back to full form.


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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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