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Simultaneous Windows reboot killed Skype

SkypeAfter about 30 hours of Skype downtime, their official blog released a formal explanation for the extended service disruption.

They say it’s a bug. I call it MDWRA or Massively Distributed Windows Reboot Attack.

So, what really happened on that fateful day of August 16?

On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

Wow, looks like a scene from The Twilight Zone. Who could imagine millions upon millions of PC restarting almost simultaneously could practically down such a high trafficked network like Skype?

Well, it’s a lesson learned. I bet all those budding call centers that rely on VOIP services like Skype learned it the hard way.

While we’re on the subject of VOIPs, news of Grand Central terminating customers’ one-phone-number-for-life got people fuming mad. Whether or not the Google post-acquisition had something to do with it doesn’t change the fact that what used to be a lifetime guarantee ain’t really for life.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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5 Responses

  1. It’s obviously an isolated issue. Hope it’ll never happen again. If you do think about it all this nifty technologies we now enjoy could just one day stop doing what it should do. That’s the worst case that’ll ever happen. we might need to get the telegram service again i suppose.

  2. issai says:

    i’m sorry to say, that it seems so cool. for me, it represented that the we are getting extremely globally connected. That’s a lot of people connected to the net. It’s just amazing.

  3. Joni says:

    Oh..So that’s why I couldn’t connect to Skype that day! I thought the problem was just with my computer or my Internet connection. lol.

  4. Ernesto says:

    Skype provides voip right I have a bad time using it anyway…

  5. JP Loh says:

    I bet all those budding call centers that rely on VOIP services like Skype learned it the hard way.

    I haven’t heard of a call center that relied on Skype. By Skype-like, do you mean consumer-grade VoIP carriers?

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