Monday, August 20, 2007

Skype This! - Redux

Whatever you do - don't restart your Windows PC after a huge "patch Tuesday" - and then log into Skype.

Skype has said that the big service problem from last week was due to the fact that a whole lot of people rebooted their Windows machines after a push of patches from Windows Update.

Skype spokesman Villu Arak said the high number of restarts in a short time period clogged Skype's network, causing a flood of log-in requests. These, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, "prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact."

OOPS. Arak also said that the outage revealed a software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm that prevented the self-healing function from properly working.

A bug, huh? Really.

While a bug like this can be lurking in any software (who tests for 3 million people rebooting at once!), it could be some time before Skype's reputation is restored - not to mention the time it will take for people to get less jittery about P2P solutions in general.

Meanwhile, I'm sure that the non-P2P players in VOIP (Vonage, Verizon and AT&T) are laughing all the way to the bank.

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