Akamai Network Problems Disrupt Numerous Sites

Problems with Akamai's content distribution network knocked a number of high-traffic web sites offline this morning, affecting the availability of antivirus updates from Symantec, McAfee and TrendMicro, as well as streaming content from Apple. Our monitoring of the Fortune 100 shows performance issues this morning for BellSouth, General Motors, Coca Cola and Verizon.

A statement on Akamai's customer site said the company "is aware of a service interuption earlier today affecting content delivery. We have identified the root cause and have implemented the fix. Issues retrieving content should be decreasing or resolved." The language hints at a technical problem rather than a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), which had been the focus of early speculation. The size of Akamai's network - reports range from 12,000 to 15,000 servers - would seem to make such an attack unlikely.

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RIAA Site Offline Again on MyDoom.F Trigger Date

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) web site is once again experiencing significant downtime. The timing of outages yesterday and today begs the question of whether the site continues to suffer the effects of the MyDoom.F virus, which programs machines to launch distributed denial of service attacks on www.riaa.com between the 17th and 22nd of each month.

The RIAA site was offline from March 17-24 due to the effects of MyDoom.F, which at its height was estimated to have infected as many as 45,000 machines, according to antivirus vendors.

RIAA web site peformance

A dynamically updating graph of the sites targeted for DDoS by various MyDoom variants is available here.

Most Reliable Hosting Providers during April

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
April 1st - 30th 2004

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During April, Jumpline, a hosting company which specialises in Virtual Private Server [VPS] solutions, was the most reliable of the hosting company sites we monitor. Second placed was Energis, the UK telco and high end hosting provider, and third was Komplex, the German hosting company which was top during March.

Notably, this month five of the top ten sites were running Linux. This is first time since the performance analysis of hosting company sites started that Linux has been the leading operating system for site reliability. Until now FreeBSD had without exception been the most common operating system amongst the top ten each month. However, this month, the top ten comprises five sites running Linux, three running FreeBSD and one each running OpenBSD and Windows, with Energis running Windows and Secure Dog running OpenBSD.

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Windows Update Site Experiences Slowdowns

The Windows Update web site has been experiencing performance problems again today, with our monitoring showing lengthy response times and brief outages.

Windows Update site was slowed by heavy traffic last month following the release of four Microsoft security updates fixing critical holes in Windows software. Saturday's Sasser worm used one of those flaws, a buffer overflow in the LSASS Windows networking service, to compromise unpatched machines. It's not yet clear whether today's delays are due to increased patching by tardy network administrators, or some other cause. Microsoft said it addressed last month's performance problems by "adding resources to support Windows Update."

Windows Update site performance

Dynamically updating performance charts for Windows Update are available here.

Protracted Availability problems for Above.net

The Above.net web site is experiencing the latest in a series of outages, which began April 24 and have intensified since Tuesday, with the www.above.net site either exhibiting very slow response times or being unreachable. The duration of the performance problems is unusual for a network provider the size of Above.net (previously Metromedia Fiber Network). The company has not yet responded to an inquiry about its site performance.

AboveNet site performance

Our Hosting Provider Network Performance summary provides current information on the uptime for web sites of major hosting companies.