A botched software update at Spain's central domain registry knocked as many as 400,000 sites offline for several hours Tuesday, according to the Esnic registry. The error left Internet users unable to access domains using .es, the country code top-level domain for Spain. The outage lasted from 3 pm to 5 pm Tuesday afternoon (local time) when the DNS database that connects domain names to IP addresses was "affected by an error" during a software update, according to an advisory posted at Esnic, which manages the .es database.
The outage can be clearly seen in our performance chart for Arsys, the largest hosting company in Spain, which uses Arsys.es as its primary domain. Arsys hosts more than 600,000 hostnames, although only some of those use .es for their domain. Other top-level domains were not affected.
Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.
Weather.com, the web site for The Weather Channel, has experienced outages and sluggish performance this evening amid heavy traffic from web surfers seeking the latest information on Tropical Storm Ernesto. Ernesto is approaching the Florida coast and is expected to make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday as a strong tropical storm. It will be the ninth hurricane or tropical storm in the past three years to strike Florida, where thousands of homeowners are still repairing homes damaged by previous storms.
The National Hurricane Center web site, which provides the latest advisories on the strength and projected path of major storms, has remained available throughout the storm's approach. The NHC has beefed up its infrastructure in recent years, and uses the Akamai network to help manage its web traffic.
Dynamically updating charts of the performance of the Weather.com and the National Hurricane Center web sites are available.
The web site of the British Airports Authority (BAA) has been deluged by heavy traffic as travelers seek news about the status of flights at London's Heathrow Airport and other UK airports in the wake of this morning's terror alert. The baa.co.uk site experienced several outages this morning, and promptly converted to an all-text format, providing only the most essential information. The change has improved the availability of the site.
The BAA also switched the sites for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports to an all-text format. Eliminating graphics on web pages improves availability during periods of heavy site traffic, as smaller HTML files reduce the load on busy web servers.
A dynamically updating chart of the web site performance of the BAA web site is available.
Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
July 1st - 31st 2006
For the second time in three months, six hosting companies share the top spot for the most reliable hosting company site, as Datapipe, New York Internet, AboveNet, Hostway, Rackspace and IPowerWeb finish in a dead heat for July. All six providers had just 0.01 percent of requests fail during the month, just a hair short of perfection.
Those strong performances came during a rough month for uptime, as late July power outages played havoc with some popular web destinations and hosting providers in data centers in California and the UK.
Five of this month's six leaders have previously finished atop the reliability survey at least once, but this marks the first appearance in the top spot for AboveNet, an IP services and connectivity provider with extensive operations in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Four of the 10 most reliable hosters run their sites on FreeBSD, while two use Linux, and Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Solaris 8 all make one appearance.
The power outage that knocked MySpace offline was the second major failure in the past year at the telecom building in Los Angeles where MySpace houses much of its operations. The downtime at the Garland Building (1200 W. 7th) left MySpace users wondering how one of the web's busiest sites could go dark so easily. Adding to the headscratching was the fact that MySpace is a customer of Limelight Networks, a content delivery network that should (in theory) provide distributed caching and storage.
Other tenants at the Garland Building that were affected included DreamHost, which reported on the weekend power outages on its company blogs. The building lost grid power during a series of rolling blackouts that affected the Los Angeles area as California coped with stifling heat and record demand for electricity. The loss of power at Garland was blamed on the failure of a UPS system (uninterruptible power supply), which normally maintains power to equipment while generators start up.
Equinix said that reports that the outage may have occurred in one of its data centers were incorrect. "Equinix’s data centers were operating as normal over the weekend and this morning, providing consistent power to all customers," Margie Backaus, chief business officer of Equinix, reported in the comments section at GigaOm. "MySpace operates in Equinix data centers, but it also hosts operations in other data centers where we understand the incident occurred." MySpace recently announced that it would lease space in the new Equinix center in El Segundo.
Social networking site MySpace.com is offline currently, attributing the downtime to a power outage in its data center.
It was inaccessible for more than 90 minutes, and then displayed a brief message alerting users to the problems: "Hey everyone! There's been a power outage in our data center. we're in the process of fixing it right now, so sit tight. - Tom" (presumably MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson).
With MySpace unavailable, many of the service's users began posting blog items at LiveJournal, another free blogging service popular with U.S. teenagers.
A dynamically updating chart of the web site performance of myspace.com is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.