Facebook and its associated services experienced a six-hour outage on Monday.
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus suffered a major outage over the course of Monday, Oct. 4. Beginning just before noon EST, the outage lasted six hours, preventing users from accessing their social media profiles, messaging apps, and Oculus-based services.
In a blog post issued Monday night, Facebook reported that the outage was the result of a configuration change to its routers.
This “networking traffic issue” resulted in a cascading disruption to the way the company’s data centers communicate. What should have been a routine Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) update wiped out the routing information that allows other networks to find sites like Facebook and Instagram?
This was especially disruptive to Facebook’s internal company processes because they all rely on their own platform. Staff members communicate using Facebook messenger, which was unavailable while they were trying to determine a resolution. This only further disrupted their recovery processes.
This is the worst outage Facebook has experienced since 2019 when they were offline for more than a day. While Facebook services are nonessential, they do offer a low-cost platform for small businesses, which are undoubtedly hit the hardest during outages like these.
Here are three key takeaways:
As always, events like this prove that IT is an error-prone and complicated part of the business world. You need to plan ahead to both prevent downtime and mitigate the effect it has on your business when it can’t be avoided.