Cogent Network Outages Affect Some Sites

Network services provider Cogent experienced network outages this morning, which reportedly caused broader availability problems for web sites and networks that rely on Cogent for connectivity. Traffic on major backbones appears to have returned to normal.

Cogent's network spans 29,500 miles of fiber and connects with 1,750 networks in major U.S. markets. Our monitoring of Cogent's business web site (cogentco.com) shows a brief outage this morning:

Cogent web site performance

A dynamically updating chart of Cogent's web site performance is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides similar charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

WorldCom.com Disappears from the Web

WorldCom.com has been taken offline, erasing the web's last traces of the brand that became a symbol of white collar crime and the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. The domains worldcom.com and worldcom.net have been taken out of the DNS database, meaning requests for those URLs return no response. The domains continue to be owned by MCI, Inc. the WorldCom successor that was bought earlier this year by Verizon for $7.6 billion.

When a company is acquired, its domain names are typically redirected to the web site of the acquiring company to capture potential customers searching for the old URL. Redirection services are freely provided by most registrars. But worldcom.com and worldcom.net have no A record listed in their DNS settings, suggesting the domains have been intentionally taken offline to "retire" the name.

worldcom.com web site offline

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DDoS on Blue Security Blog Knocks Typepad, LiveJournal Offline

The spam-fighting service Blue Security has been under siege by spammers and digital attackers in recent days. On Tuesday it wound up sharing its pain with a large chunk of the blogosphere. When Blue Security's web site was hit by a distributed denial of service attack attack (DDoS), the company temporarily repointed www.bluesecurity.com to a blog on Six Apart's TypePad service. The DDoS traffic appears to have followed www.bluesecurity.com to its new home, overwhelming Six Apart's network and knocking its TypePad and LiveJournal services offline for nearly eight hours.

LiveJournal hosts more than 1.8 million active blogs, according to its stats page, while TypePad is home to thousands more, including many prominent blogs. In a status advisory, Six Apart said a "sophisticated" DDoS struck at 4 p.m. Pacific time and continued to affect its services until past 11:30 p.m. "This has affected all of Six Apart's sites, causing intermittent and limited availability for TypePad, LiveJournal, TypeKey, sixapart.com, movabletype.org and movabletype.com."

The DNS change for www.bluesecurity.com to an IP address on Six Apart's network (204.9.178.12) was first noted on the North American Network Operators Group mailing list Tuesday night. Internal links on bluesecurity.blogs.com indicate that the blog was configured to operate under the www.bluesecurity.com URL. Further confirmation came from other blogs, including The SunBelt Blog, which linked to a post published early Wednesday on bluesecurity.blogs.com and cited it as appearing on www.bluesecurity.com.

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Rackspace Most Reliable Hoster in April

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
April 1st - 30th 2006

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Rackspace is the most reliable hosting company site this month, followed by Datapipe and iNetU. Rackspace was perfect this month - it experienced no downtime, and not a single failed DNS request was seen from any of our monitoring points during April. This marked the first flawless month for a host since Datatpipe did it in January 2005, while German host Komplex had a faultless month in March 2004.

This month's top three hosts have consistently been among the strongest performers in our Most Reliable Hoster surve. Rackspace was the most reliable host six times in 2005, compared to four times for Datapipe. INetU made the top 10 six times last year, and was the most reliable host for the second half of 2003.

Three Linux sites are found in the top 10 this month, three on FreeBSD, two on Windows and two on Solaris.

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World of Warcraft Plans Upgrade to Fix Performance Woes

World of Warcraft says it is planning to upgrade its authentication servers to address performance problems that have plagued the popular online game in recent weeks. With more than 6 million subscribers, World of Warcraft has been struggling with login problems since the game's authentication system crashed on April 7.

"For several months now we've researched potential authentication upgrades and evaluated how those system changes could be implemented with minimal impact on our service," said a message posted Thursday on the WoW forums by game operator Blizzard Entertainment. "We recently decided on a specific authentication solution and are currently taking the necessary steps to implement the associated hardware and software. The new platform should help alleviate the login issues that players have experienced, including both forum- and game-login processes."

The performance problems have also been visible in the performance of the worldofwarcraft.com web site:

World of Warcraft web site performance

A dynamically updating chart of World of Warcraft's web site performance is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides similar charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.

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Outage for Wikipedia Web Site

The Wikipedia web site suffered an outage yesterday, caused by power problems at one of its facilities. The site was completely unreachable for 40 minutes, and experienced performance problems for much of the afternoon.

Begun in 2001, Wikipedia has rapidly grown into the largest reference website on the Internet. The online encyclopedia is a wiki, allowing Internet users to create and edit content. Wikipedia is the ninth-most popular web property, according to Netcraft's rankings of the most visited sites. Wikipedia's English language site is the 29th most visited URL by Netcraft toolbar users, but the higher-ranking URLs include related sites all associated with the eight top-ranked web properties - Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, the BBC, CNN, eBay, Fox News, and Amazon.com.

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A dynamically updating chart of Wikipedia's web site performance is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides similar charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.