Sunday, December 18, 2005

Silence Of The Blogs

Forbes reported Popular subscription-based blogging service TypePad went offline on Friday, delaying updates to thousands of sites. Users of the system were unable to post new stories, and posts written in the last week disappeared entirely. The shutdown occurred late Thursday night as Six Apart was increasing redundancy on its disk storage. "It's kind of like lightning striking. At the point where we were adding redundancy, it goes down," says Six Apart Vice President Anil Dash. "It was a one-in-a-million hardware problem."

That is the problem with adding redundancy to an established system. There may be a point in time when a failure could really cripple you, yet if the failure had happened either earlier or later, it would have been handled.
No posts have been permanently lost, and missing items should be restored shortly, he says. Dash would not say how many users the outage had affected, saying only that it had hit millions of Web pages and thousands of users. By Friday evening the service appeared to be up and working, but missing blog posts had not yet been restored.

A blogger who calls herself "Snowball" was one of them, and says the outage and the way it was handled are causing her to think about switching hosts for her site The Adventures of A Snowball In Hell. "TypePad did nothing to notify subscribers and has not attempted to communicate in any way," says Snowball, who preferred not to give her real name.
What did you expect them to tell you? The system was down? You knew that. When it would be up? No one knew that, and any time taken trying to predict when it would be restored, would take resources away from actually restoring service, which I am sure the technicians were doing as quickly as they could.
"It's mostly affected me by increasing my already ripe irritation with a system that is falling far short of the expectations of those of us who have been there from the beginning…I'm seriously considering moving my blog to [pMachine, Inc.'s] Expression Engine, no matter what sort of compensation they offer."
A personal license for Expression Image is $100 (commercial is $250), and it is not clear that includes hosting, and if it does, is that hosting any more redundant than Type Pad's $50 for a basic blog, $150 for Pro version, plus hosting charges?

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