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Businesses Communications

Skype Outage Hits Users Worldwide 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-talk-for-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that millions of Skype phone users worldwide couldn't make calls or were dropped in mid-conversation because of a network connection failure that began about 9 AM Wednesday PST. 'For a communications system this large to go down, it's almost unheard of,' says Charles S. Golvin, a Forrester Research analyst. 'Usually when phone lines are disrupted, the blackout is confined to a specific geographical area. This is worldwide.' In theory, Skype, which is based on peer-to-peer networking technology, shouldn't see an outage, but that is not really the case — the company has a massive infrastructure that it uses for purposes such as authentication and linking to the traditional phone networks. 'The outage comes at a time when Skype is starting to ask larger corporations for their business,' writes Om Malik. 'If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in the light of this current outage.'"
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Skype Outage Hits Users Worldwide

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  • Year end reviews (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:11AM (#34650898) Homepage Journal

    Apparently this article [slashdot.org] was published too soon. Those year end reviews should include the last few weeks of the year before.

    • by natehoy (1608657)

      Or "year end" reviews could be written in early January so they, you know, include the year end. :)

      But, yeah, doing an annual summary before the year is over is silly.

      However, it's at least one of the first times when the Slashdot news isn't old. This is so fresh, it's not even ripe.

      • by suso (153703) *

        By theory on why they do it before the end of the year is that doing it at the beginning of the year wouldn't be forward thinking nor as positive so readers wouldn't warm up to it as much. Hence all the new years resolutions. Kinda demonstrates how unscientific thinking the general public is. Those year end wrap ups aren't really meant to be a comprehensive list so much as something to warm your heart.

  • Centralaisation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by isorox (205688) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:11AM (#34650900) Homepage Journal

    Increasingly more and more communication is becoming centralised. People use Facebook to send messages rather than email, Skype rather than direct voip calls, Twitter to keen people informed. Even email relies on central webservers. Gone is the days that typical emails would travel from your computer to the other persons directly, or at most via their local ISP.

    Aside from being exactly what the internet is designed to avoid, it's also handing control to corporations that are
    1) Too big for governments to influence
    2) Too big to fail

    I for one hope for more large scale outages, hopefully it will stem the tide, but like Cnut, we can't stop the inevitable.

    • Re:Centralaisation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:24AM (#34650950) Homepage

      Aside from being exactly what the internet is designed to avoid, it's also handing control to corporations that are
      1) Too big for governments to influence
      2) Too big to fail

      Hang on, I'm waiting for the "W" to finish, before I get to the "TF" part.....

      ok. Done.

      Too big for government to influence? Depending on how much credence you give to the fringe of the internet, Joe Lieberman may have personally yanked Wikileaks' servers from Amazon's datacenters and pissed on the still spinning fans. There isn't a company on earth, from a dollar store on 8-mile to Google themselves, that isn't above government influence.

      Too big to fail? I'm gonna go ahead and guess that Facebook and Skype combined don't directly employ as many people as a single GM or Chrysler assembly plant. If facebook or skype fails today, I'm pretty sure the sun will come up tomorrow. Now, IBM might be a different story...

    • Re:Centralaisation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by duggi (1114563) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <alaylam_ahsuyhtarp>> on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:26AM (#34650970)
      Actually it is a cycle. De-centralised to centralised then centralised to de-centralised. A lot of concepts work this way. From political power (Local government to kingdom to local government) to computing (mainframe to data centre to cloud), we see this cycle a lot.
      I actually hope that someone does a study of this phenomenon, and finds out an equilibrium which has advantages of de centralisation and centralisation. That would be something.
      • Don't forget.... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ...'parallel to serial to parallel' and 'optical to electrical to optical' :)

        Seriously though, as technology improves it often leads to 'old concepts' being re-examined and implemented in a new manner that is usually more effective than the initial parts.

        While not always true a lot of technology has sprung up like this, especially in the computer world.

        • Another tech example: WebTV to internet is only on computers to "App Enabled" blue ray players / GoogleTV(and others).

          Some tech comes out, slowly is found to have limitations, is replaced by another tech that is completely radical in it's approach, eventually it has limitations too, is replaced by a reimagining of the first tech with some parts of the 2nd tech... it's a standard cycle alright.

          Another (non-tech) example: Father is a taskmaster, strict, and prudish. Son is rebellious and becomes loose, ove

      • Circuit Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dtmos (447842) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @10:04AM (#34651548)

        The best circuit analogy I've seen to this switching between a distinct pair of alternatives is a delta-sigma analog-to-digital converter [wikipedia.org] (or sigma-delta converter, depending on your dialect). This converter takes an analog signal input, but the output is only one of two values, 1 or 0. The long-term average of the output pulses is equal to the input analog voltage, but at any given instant the output is at one of the rails (1 or 0).

        It's like saying that at any instant the US government is controlled by Democrats or Republicans, but the long-term average (representing the input to the system, i.e., the wishes of the people) is somewhere between these extremes. Or the old argument about whether a company should be organized around functions (having, e.g., an engineering department, a sales department, etc., each handling all products) or products (having, e.g., a Product A division, a Product B division, etc., each handling all functions). Each new CEO switches the company from one to the other, while the optimum is some unattainable blend of the two. (Don't mention matrix management.)

        Interestingly, one of the most prized features of delta-sigma converters is that their noise is "shaped", that is, pushed to higher frequencies out of band, so it can be easily filtered. This greatly increases the performance attainable with a given technology. Every time I hear protest voices in democratic governments, or organizational griping by corporate salarymen, I always pause to wonder if I am listening to this feature of the converter, too. And whether I should filter it.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        There is one constant in the whole cycle...... lower the costs.

        Email and phone calls, even intercompany VOIP calls, is just not fast enough. I know of plenty of companies that want a instant messaging platform for all of their employees. Now there are a lot to choose from. You have some Enterprise solutions I am sure, 19.5 billion dollars you could spend on some MS platform to do it, open source technologies that would require you setting up a server, mid-grade server applications with licensing, etc.

        The

    • Re:Centralaisation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:41AM (#34651050)

      1) Too big for governments to influence

      Governments prefer big corporations. One or two big corporations are much easier to control than a lot of small companies (some of which the government might not even be aware of). This is part of the reason why the more an industry is regulated, "to protect the little guy", the more it is dominated by big corporations (and the more the little guy gets screwed over). The effect of government regulations is to consolidate control of an industry in the hands of a few corporations, even if a government regulation is.intended to do the opposite.

      • by dkf (304284)

        Governments prefer big corporations. One or two big corporations are much easier to control than a lot of small companies (some of which the government might not even be aware of).

        On the other hand, small corporations can't cause nearly so much trouble for governments as large ones so are preferable to government in other respects. What changes isn't what the effects of scale actually are, but what value is attached to particular parts of those effects; that's what drives the cycles.

        • As corporations get larger, the distinction between who represents the government and who represents the corporation become blurred, just look at Goldman Sachs and the present Administration in the U.S..
      • by isorox (205688)

        One or two big corporations are much easier to control than a lot of small companies (some of which the government might not even be aware of).

        Perhaps your government can control facebook. Today. Does the government of Paraguay have any influence?

        The U.S. is currently top dog, although I note that Zuckenberg is building bridges with China. I wonder how the government would change it's views if the headquarters and important people of google, microsoft, etc. weren't in the US, or weren't American citizens.

        • Perhaps your government can control facebook. Today. Does the government of Paraguay have any influence?

          That's because Facebook's central offices and owner do not reside in Paraguay. So, you are right, Paraguay's government would prefer a company based in Paraguay. However, they would prefer one large company based in Paraguay to many small companies based in Paraguay.
          We have already seen how the government would change if those companies were not based where the U.S. government could control them, they would work to favor their domestic competitors.

        • wonder how the government would change it's views if the headquarters and important people of google, microsoft, etc. weren't in the US, or weren't American citizens.

          Like, say, Assange?

    • Re:Centralaisation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:49AM (#34651092) Journal

      You make a good point about centralization == bad.

      That's why I've kept my Landline phone, because it still works even when the DSL goes down (dialup backup) or power goes out (has its own power) or cellphone towers are overloaded. Ditto why my TV comes-in via antenna instead of the unreliable CATV line. It's not a good idea to move everything to the internet, which has demonstrated itself to have more downtime than the older 1800s-era technologies.

      As for saving money on long distance, I use a calling card. 5 cents a minute or just $30 for 10+ hours. So it's almost as cheap as Skype but a lot more mobile (I can use it any gas station or hotel). Also cheaper than my cellphone plan at 18 cents/minute.

      • It's an interesting theory, but I'm not sure how useful it is in practice. Currently there are three ways I can contact people in the event of an emergency. One is the VOIP phone (which is battery backed up against power failures), one is my cell phone, and one is walking down to the corner where there's still an honest to goodness pay phone. Realistically if I'm in a position where all three of these methods are unavailable, there's a good chance that either land line telephone will have been cut as wel

        • Re:Centralaisation (Score:4, Interesting)

          by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @10:17AM (#34651654) Journal

          I experienced a tropical storm just a few years ago where the power was out for several days (no computer==no VOIP), the celltowers were long dead, and the gas station was a 3 mile walk. The only thing that still worked was my landline phone. It only costs ~$7/month so I can't think of any reason to disconnect it.

          • Contrary to some opinions on Slashdot, not every question has just one right answer. In your situation it may make sense to have a land line. I always had one when I live in New Orleans (though to be fair a sufficient amount of destruction takes out land lines too, nothing worked after Katrina). My situation is different. There are few natural disasters likely to hit me which will result in prolonged power outages or prolonged cell outages, and as I said, I live quite close to a payphone.

            At some point I

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        It no longer pays enough for a company to provide payphones. One of the few remaining companies had started abandoning broken payphones then all of them were removed in a short time period.

        The last time I used a payphone was...years ago.

      • by dnaumov (453672)

        You make a good point about centralization == bad.

        That's why I've kept my Landline phone, because it still works even when the DSL goes down (dialup backup) or power goes out (has its own power) or cellphone towers are overloaded.

        What the hell are you talking about.

        The most common cause of a DSL line going down is a problem with the signal coming to your premises aka some copper somewhere along the way is a bit too shitty.
        Your DSL line and your landline use the exact same copper pair.
        When your DSL line goes down, whether your landline phone continues to work or not depends on how bad is the cable damaged. If it's anything serious, your landline phone will be just as dead.

    • Gone is the days that typical emails would travel from your computer to the other persons directly, or at most via their local ISP.

      Emails were going from computer to computer directly? I am not sure you are fully aware of how email is being transmitted. Email always went through buffering and spooling and in the early days it used to be buffered for quite a while. Even today mail travels through many routers and sometimes gets buffered and relayed later as part of traffic management by the backbone providers. And it was always between your mail server and the addressee's mail server. Both sender's and the receiver's computers were cons

      • by sjames (1099)

        They could easily go point to point if both had a static IP and their own DNS entry.

        Unless of course, you're counting the routers the individual IP packets pass through, but that's not at all the same as SMTP storing and forwarding.

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      6 billion people don't use facebook.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      Skype rather than direct voip calls,

      You must have lived in an alternate reality from me. I've worked in Germany, France, the US, and Canada in the past 8 years, and I've seen three examples of "standard" or "decentralized" VOIP:

      1. a few savvy folks who used Vonage/Lingo/etc
      2. a whole PBX goes VOIP and the users don't know/care as long as it works
      3. Conference calls conducted through WebEx/Meetingplace VOIP

      In the same time I have seen Skype take off in the past 3 years to be all-encompassing since it's so easy to set up, integrates with POTS and costs

  • 'The outage comes at a time when Skype is starting to ask larger corporations for their business,' writes Om Malik. 'If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in the light of this current outage.'

    I can't help but wonder why people expect a company like Skype to provide perfect uptime, assuming just because they're an 'internet-company', when local providers can have similar troubles.

    Sure, such an impact on a global scale is, err, not very prestigious

    • by puto (533470)
      The old copper lines were trivially easy to maintain and keep operating, even with power outages. Traditional telcos simply have more experience than "internet" companies in running large communication networks.
    • Getting back to the issue: Has anyone yet explained what the cause of this outage is? If Skype's techs have indeed been working on it all day, they must (one hopes) have at least some idea of the cause by now.
  • This is your response to the Net Neutrality Bill? Very clever...

    Question: do torrents still work, or did the bastards turn that off too?
  • by Japong (793982) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:40AM (#34651048)

    Halfway through yesterday my Skype stopped working, just like everybody else's.

    It then tried to reconnect, and out of the blue gave me a pop-up saying "Skypenames2.exe wants to use Skype" with the options "Allow access" or "Deny access."

    This naturally set off a few alarm bells, but as it turns out it isn't malware or a virus, just a poorly named Skype component. It allows you to click telephone links in IE or a Mozilla-based browser and make direct phone calls using Skype. Personally I don't want or need that kind of integration, so I declined.

    • by Krneki (1192201)
      ... but you still have this crap running in the background.
      • by westlake (615356)

        ... but you still have this crap running in the background.

        And that matters when your $400 Toshiba Sattelite [walmart.com] has a 2.2 GHz AMD dual-core CPU with 3 GB RAM and 64 bit Win 7?

        You have a laptop with credible specs, a camera, a microphone, and a 16" display. You might as well install the app that can make good use of all these things.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:41AM (#34651054) Journal
    Just find the Verizon/ATT/Sprint/ executive with a smug face and a sheepish grin. He did it.
    • by Duradin (1261418)

      Could be. Or Skype could have dropped a call from Wikileaks and Anonymous DDoS'd them. Of course, since there was an actual effect it probably wasn't them.

  • ...but I still think that Admins, or so called 'IT-Specialists', which are suggesting Google Documents and Skype for serious business use should be moved to the cleaning staff (or at least as far away from the IT infrastructure as possible).
    • by jimicus (737525)

      Your business trusts a bank to handle their money? A payroll bureau to handle payroll? An accountant to deal with tax issues? Are these not also things which you'd rather the world didn't learn about?

      There are lots of things that are considered and values assigned when these things are brought up, and the fact of the matter is that your concerns are almost invariably given a remarkably low priority these days. Doubtless five or ten years from now we'll come full circle and solid, reliable server equipme

    • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:50AM (#34651466) Homepage

      I think you're making an overly broad and general statement about a very situation specific topic. For *many* businesses *much* of the time, a service like Google Documents and Skype provides adequate levels of QOS, and may be considerably better than that same company could do on its own. If you have a ten or twenty person business with a relatively small IT budget, Google Docs is likely better than what you could do for yourself. By the time you pay a specialist IT guy, buy servers, buy backup solutions, buy an office suite ( you could save this cost by using Open Source, but frankly office suites are one area that I'd rather just pay for it. I've never cared much for OO.org or whatever they call themselves now that they forked) for every workstation... You're talking a huge investment. Google will do it cheaper, likely better, and if you have to deal with the occasional outage, well it's not likely to destroy your business if it's down for a couple hours. Anyway it's just as likely that your local file server might go down for a few hours (or even a few days if you paid for the cheap support package).

      Now if you're the sort of business where any downtime is costing you a fortune, then you're in a different boat and Google may not be the best choice. If you've already made the infrastructure investment, then a lot of the reason for using Google goes away. If you've got the in house expertise to handle this stuff for minimal expense, then maybe Google isn't a good idea. If you're a big enough operation that you can develop your own economies of scale, it may make more sense for you to do so... There's lots of reasons to not use Google, but just to globally say that anyone who ever suggests it should be made a janitor is quite foolish as well.

      As a side note, if you're the kind of business where any down time will cost you a fortune, and you haven't paid for redundant *everything* (Internet connection, mail server, file server, web server, power, HVAC... and on and on), you're fooling yourself thinking that you avoid outages by not using Google.

    • Agreed! Especially when there are tons of reputable SIP providers to choose from, why use Skype? :-\

      It's gonna take a shit-ton of powerful marketing for Skype to overpower common sense and break into an established, competitive market of open options...maybe Cisco can give them some advice.

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        Right now, I'm setting up a system for a guy that involves a Galaxy Tab, a Droid, a couple of computers and an iPhone. What he wants is to make calls and text messages as cheaply as possible all using the same number. I signed him up with Google Voice for texts and call routing and Skype to actually carry the voice.

        Now, the system works. The tablet has the internet connection. One GB per month for 20 bucks plus ~5 dollars for skype withb a dial out number. So, he's happy. Tether the phones to the tablet an

        • You're probably already looked at Asterisk, it has a nasty learning cliff to it...there is some simplified asterisk "appliance" software out there like Trixbox that can make things easier.

          The one big gotcha with SIP is the routing, A SIP call involves SIP traffic (that controls the call) on port 5060 and then the actual audio traffic is RTP on high-numbered ports. If this traffic gets separated your SIP calls won't work, but most networking equipment is fine with it.

          • You're

            Aw jeez typo on the first word :-( and that key is on the other side of the keyboard too...

  • by wandazulu (265281) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @08:50AM (#34651100)

    After convincing my boss and *his* boss about the benefits of Skype, yesterday was the day I was going to demo it to show how it works, benefits, video, etc.

    Suffice to say, the demo did not go well.

  • It’s worth noting that our enterprise product, Skype Connect , is working normally

    From: http://www.skype.com/content/skype/intl/en-us/StatusUpdate.html?cm_mmc=PXTW [skype.com]|0700_B6-_-downtime-20101222-2

  • the company has a massive infrastructure that it uses for purposes such as authentication

    I've always been amazed by the large amount of time it takes to be authenticated from a Skype server, compared to connections to other providers - time that suggests there is something wrong with their infrastructure.

    • by jimicus (737525)

      I get the distinct impression that Skype was always designed with a maximum of a few hundred, maybe a couple of thousand users in mind - and since then they've been running around trying desperately to retrofit the sort of reliability that would have been there from day 1 had that reliability been part of the original design.

  • Skype video conference is Julian Assange's preferred interview medium ; now he's under house arrest, anyone wanting to interview him will have to call using the traditional phone network or use an alternate videoconference system. I think some of the news organizations were sending outside broadcast trucks to interview him.

    Yes, this is on the left field of paranoid. But someone had to say it :-)

  • Ekiga anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gbl08ma (1904378) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:10AM (#34651204) Homepage Journal
    My Ekiga account which uses the much more "open" and widely supported Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is still up and running. By "widely supported" I mean that many more applications support it (while Skype is a proprietary form of VoIP), not that more people use it.
    Time to laugh of all my friends that are now trying to use Skype! (soon I'll be receiving messages through MSN - not IRC or GTalk - asking why Skype stopped working)
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Time to laugh of all my friends that are now trying to use Skype! (soon I'll be receiving messages through MSN - not IRC or GTalk - asking why Skype stopped working)

      Please let me know when a phone provider like my current one (Three [three.co.uk]) provides unlimited free usage of 'Ekiga' over their network without even requiring an Internet plan like Skype does and offers something similar to "Skype access", which I'm using at this very moment in Glasgow airport as I wait for my plane.

      • The problem is with your lack of an unlimited (or at least unrestricted) mobile data plan, not any VoIP service.

        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          The problem is with your lack of an unlimited (or at least unrestricted) mobile data plan, not any VoIP service.

          I have free unlimited skype, without any plan on my provider. Your alternative is likely going to be far more costly for me (as right now I pay NOTHING, ZIP for this on the mobile phone network).

  • Supernode (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:28AM (#34651328) Homepage
    Hmmm, I wonder if this ties in with the fact that last night my computer started spewing tens of thousands of packets on port 443 (https). My guess is that it became a Spype supernode. Needless to say, the network admins were not very happy about this. I couldn't find a way to disable it in Ubuntu, so it's gonna be goodbye Skype for now, unless someone can suggest a solution.
    • Re:Supernode (Score:5, Interesting)

      by RulerOf (975607) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:48AM (#34651444)
      Skype uses interesting techniques to punch holes in firewalls to allow that peer-to-peer connection. Rather than relying on some type of dynamic port mapping via UPnP, Skype's central server (or perhaps the supernodes?) tell each computer to contact the other, causing the NAT device to dynamically map the required ports at the time a call is made. From what I've heard, the NAT traversal that Skype uses was pioneered by them, but I believe the technique has since been adopted by many other applications.

      Skype has a little checkbox somewhere that says "Use ports 80 and 443" as alternates. Unchecking that might help you here.
      • by dargaud (518470)
        The Linux version of the Skype client doesn't have those "Use ports 80 and 443" options that i can see.
      • by Algan (20532)

        NAT punching techniques used by Skype are not new, and certainly not invented by them. Voip providers back in the first internet bubble used them and i believe there are even some related patents filled in the '95-00 timeframe. Skype certainly improved on them and broght on the p2p aspect, instead of using one centralized coordination point. Apparently, they're still too centralized though, as this outage has demonstrated.

    • by Tarqwak (599548)
      As per network-admin-guide-version2.2.pdf [skype.com], on Windows:

      reg ADD "HKLM\Software\Policies\Skype\Phone" /v DisableSupernode /d 1 /t REG_DWORD /f

  • by itwbennett (1594911) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @09:45AM (#34651424) Homepage
    Skype is blaming its peer-to-peer interconnection system for the problem. In an official blog post, the company said: 'Our engineers are creating new 'mega-supernodes' as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal.' http://www.itworld.com/networking/131617/skype-blames-service-outage-supernode-problem [itworld.com]. And as of 8 a.m. Thursday, Skype said about 2/3 of users still can't log in. http://www.itworld.com/networking/131655/skype-says-two-thirds-users-still-cant-log [itworld.com]
    • 1. the supernode requirements suggest that most skype calls use some kind of NAT helper that proxies the call between two or more people. The 'brain' of the NAT helper (aka supernode) is centralized. There are very likely lots of conventional ways to halt supernode service if one spent the time to analyze supernode packets.

      2. the fact that 2/3 of users can't log in is an authentication problem, not a 'calling' problem. The auth system has to be centralized.

      It looks like ebay Engineering is going to be

      • by mspohr (589790)
        I can log in but the calls don't go through. They just ring twice then silence... so I think they have problems in addition to authentication.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday December 23, 2010 @10:27AM (#34651740)
    All the major telcos have switched or are switching to "Soft Switches" meaning they are doing away with their old EWSD, DMS100 etc... hardware based switches and converting all their customers to Voip, then trunking it back to their headquarters where they have a software based switch. This saves them a lot of money but also centralizes the switching system and can lead to huge outages. I've seen them happen, so large than nearly the entire customer base of a company is out of service. But Customers are used to rare outages and if all the phones in town go out once or twice a year people chalk it up as "normal." What they don't realize is that it wasn't just their town, it was hundreds of citys all over the country. Even regulatory authorities treat each city outage separately so there's no real record of just how big the outages are.
  • DoS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 23, 2010 @10:38AM (#34651828)

    Looks to me like a classic DoS against the "supernodes". Probably why they, according to Skype, started disappearing. In the Skype architecture, basically if you run an instance on a machine not behind a firewall or NAT, chances are that you are running a supernode and contributing to the Skype p2p network. Your IP is distributed across the network for referece.

    I happen to have a machine that runs a supernode and about 12 hours ago I had real trouble accessing the machine while Skype was consuming 99% of CPU cycles. Incidentally, the same machine has an Apache listening on port 80 and SVN on 443. They were being flooded as well, due to the fact that Skype commonly listens on those ports as well (not in my case, due to my setup). Apache logs for the day was over 10GiB, containing the evidence. Apparently, Apache was taking the pounding much better, remaining responsive.

    This seems to be a siginificant weakness in the Skype architecture as they are relying on 3rd parties for their core infrastructure. Incidentally, this also makes easy targets of guys that contribute to the network as supernodes.

    A snippet from the Apache log:

    [Thu Dec 23 13:52:50 2010] [error] [client *.*.*.*] (22)Invalid argument: Cannot map \xd0\x15X\xbf\xf9\x99J\x19\xb7;P(\xe2(\x98\xfe\xb8"\x07[N_^\xda\xb5\xe9\x8ef\xb0\xe4\x82\xaa\x9dMZ\x9d5G\x04\x8f\x11W\xf8d\x0c\x819\xb1\xc6\x81\xe9n\xc5\xd9 to file
    [Thu Dec 23 13:52:50 2010] [error] [client *.*.*.*] (22)Invalid argument: Cannot map \xd0\x15X\xbf\xf9\x99J\x19\xb7;P(\xe2(\x98\xfe\xb8"\x07[N_^\xda\xb5\xe9\x8ef\xb0\xe4\x82\xaa\x9dMZ\x9d5G\x04\x8f\x11W\xf8d\x0c\x819\xb1\xc6\x81\xe9n\xc5\xd9 to file
    [Thu Dec 23 13:52:50 2010] [error] [client *.*.*.*] Invalid URI in request \xd0\x15X\xbf\xf9\x99J\x19\xb7;P(\xe2(\x98\xfe\xb8"\x07[N_^\xda\xb5\xe9\x8ef\xb0\xe4\x82\xaa\x9dMZ\x9d5G\x04\x8f\x11W\xf8d\x0c\x819\xb1\xc6\x81\xe9n\xc5\xd9

    • by FlyingGuy (989135)

      And that is why Skype will never ever be installed on anything I own. I never call anyone overseas and if I do need to talk to someone I can pop them an e-mail and if they are available google chat works just fine.

  • Skype appears to be back online here in Minneapolis, MN.
  • they are just more redundant.

    assume Skype as a VoIP has multiple VoIP switches, which you really can't... some of the really big outfits used to run VoIP on a single switch for the whole nation. and if there's only a single switch, it's a single point of failure.

    all the calls have to integrate into the mainstream telcos to interconnect at trunking points. if you have one, bingo. if you have multiple ones, and they run on the same physical backbone, bingo.

    in order to make the interconnections to any other

  • If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in the light of this current outage

    Really? Based on a single outage? Cmon now, do you base a decision on whether to use a service on a single outage? How often is that compared to any other utilities (power, internet, land lines) going down periodically - when was the last major skype outage, if ever? I can't seem to find much, just a reference to a login issue back in August 2007. That's a pretty good track record for not crashing if that's the case - wish I could say the same about the local electricity or high speed internet.

    There

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