Huge Outage of BBC Website Caused by Faulty Switch

The BBC website, faced a huge electrical failure on Tuesday which caused the websites to be inaccessible between 11 pm to 12 am according to the domestic time.

Many online visitors and BBC employees started using Twitter and similar social networking medium in an effort to let out their anger.

Two employees of BBC, Tony Ageh, BBC Archives controller and MO McRoberts, data analyst, were the only employees to convey their feelings about this electrical failure.

McRoberts said on Twitter, “Somebody responsible for [BBC] routers did something very silly indeed. Took out the whole lot.”

He also commented that the failure was not due to the refusal of service attack as many people guessed. But, BBC has not commented on this regard yet.

BBC News website editor, Steve Herrmann expressed his regret on this failure in a blog on the website.

“It’s not often we get a message from the BBC’s technical support teams saying, ‘Total outage of all BBC websites’. But for getting on for an hour this evening, until just before midnight, that’s what happened. We haven’t yet had a full technical debrief, but it’s clear it was a major network problem. We’d like to apologize to everyone who couldn’t get onto the BBC News website during that time,” said Herrmann.

Richard Cooper, BBC Director of Digital Distribution also commented on a blog, “Enough of the systems were restored to bring BBC Online pretty well back to normal by 23:45,” until becoming “fully resilient again by 04:00 this morning.”

He also gave reasons of the failure, referring to a “failure in the systems that perform two functions.”

Cooper commented, “The first is the aggregation of network traffic from the BBC’s hosting centers to the Internet. The second is the announcement of ‘routes’ onto the internet that allows BBC Online to be ‘found.’ With both of these having failed, we really were down!”

Cooper also promised that he and his employees will take “a very hard look” so as to avoid a comparable situation in the future.”

Ricky Hudson, CEO of Star, a cloud services company based in UK commented that the failure was avoidable had BBC made better arrangements for such a situation.

Hudson also commented, “It’s surprising that what seems to be a relatively minor DNS issue has caused such a major outage at the BBC. Ensuring that you have 24/7 monitoring of your infrastructure is essential. For medium sized businesses it is critical that online services delivered through the public or a private cloud is available when they are needed by staff and customers.”



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