If there’s one thing Internet junkies hate more than the dreaded 404 Not Found error message, it’s the even more dreaded server error message. When a business’s server crashes, their entire system becomes inoperable; sales can’t be made, services can’t be accessed, and products stop working. Below are our picks for the three worst server crashes in recent history and the impact they made on us, the unfortunate consumers.
PokerStars.com is a wildly popular online poker site where users play for real money. On February 21, 2012, PokerStars’ server crashed, causing more than 70,000 poker enthusiasts worldwide to be cut off instantly from their live poker games. The server crash made it impossible to retrieve vital information such as hand histories and bet amounts.
PokerStars immediately contacted affected players through an email titled “Server Issues” which stated, “….currently experiencing some problems with players logging in, creating accounts, and accessing the cashier, among others.” The email also stated that PokerStars was reviewing the issue and would have the problem resolved quickly. The server issue resulted in refunds to every player who had been participating in poker games when the server crashed.
Server issues are not uncommon on online gaming sites, and can become a very big issue when real money is in play. We suggest you review online terms and conditions before joining for any real money games online!
What would you do if your cell phone was inoperable for hours? If you’re attached at the hip to your phone like me, you’d probably start hyperventilating. On October 11, 2011 a server crash affected tens of millions of Blackberry users across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These users were unable to get on the Internet or send and receive email or instant messages for more than four hours.
After further investigation Blackberry confirmed that the server issues originated following an outage at the server systems of parent company Research In Motion (RIM) in Slough, Berkshire, which handles Blackberry services for the affected regions. “The messaging and browsing delays… in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, Brazil, Chile and Argentina were caused by a core switch failure within RIM’s infrastructure,” a company statement said.
According to one former RIM employee, RIM had been ignoring server problems for years. “They didn’t start looking at scalability until about 2007, when they had around 8m active devices,” the former employee said. “The attitude was, ‘We’re going to grow and grow but making sure our infrastructure can support it isn’t a priority.’ They have their own clunky infrastructure to do something that you don’t really need a clunky infrastructure to do anymore.”
Blackberry customers immediately went online when their phones crashed and started to post comments about Blackberry’s inability to deliver good service. Blackberry analysts apologized to customers for the inconvenience and assured them that their smart phones would be working very soon.
WordPress suffered a server crash on February 22, 2010 that cause 10.5 million blogs to go offline for almost two hours! It was estimated that 5.5 million page views were wiped. However, no data was lost in the outage, and all blogs resumed normal service after the two hours. WordPress also confirmed that blogs based on its software, but not using its hosting, were not affected.
In an official statement by WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, the server crash was caused by “an unscheduled change to a core router by one of their datacenter providers [which] messed up our network in a way we haven’t experienced before.” Mullenweg added, “I hope it will be much longer than four years before we face a problem like this again.”
Category: Web Hosting