Facebook Blames Protracted Outage on a 'Server Configuration Change'

Illustration for article titled Facebook Blames Protracted Outage on a 'Server Configuration Change'
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty)

After the better part of a day, Facebook’s “family of apps” are being restored to normalcy.


Small outages are not unusual, even for sites of this size—although, in recent memory, protracted inaccessibility of major services is more often caused by backbone outages. The cause for Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus’s long (and probably costly) goof? Allegedly, some sort of “server configuration change,” according to a company post on competing social network Twitter.

Reached for comment, Facebook spokesperson Travis Reed reiterated most of the tweeted statement verbatim but noted that “we made a server configuration change that triggered a cascading series of issues,” a welcome clarification that implies the server change was not caused by someone outside the company.

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Unspiek Baron Bodissey

It could very well have been the case. One mistyped network mask and you could take out a big chunk of machines and in general, seemingly trivial incidences could unleash a cascade effect with major consequences, specially in our increasingly interconnected world. See to the effect Barry Commoner’s 1966 book Science and Survival, there are a couple of interesting examples there.