Skype down due to Peer-to-Peer network issues

All morning Skype has been connecting and disconnecting and when Im online it says theres only 1,5 million users online (normally 6M).

Update August 16, 2007 12:22 from Skype.com:
“Due to Peer-to-Peer network issues there are problems with Skype login. This issue is being investigated. We will give new updates when the issue has been resolved.”

Update August 16, 2007 13:55 from Skype.com:
Some of you may be having problems logging in to Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it’s a software issue and hopes to have this resolved quickly. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update August 16, 2007 14:24 :
We are down to 1,1M users online and I just sent out an email telling my users about the problem!

Update August 16, 2007 15:02 from Skype.com:
Some of you may be having problems logging in to Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it’s a software issue. We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Additionally, downloads of Skype have been temporarily disabled. We will make downloads available again as quickly as possible.

Update August 16, 2007 15:24 :
We are down to 629.354 users online and I was just kicked off!

Update August 16, 2007 15:39 :
We are down to 495.752 users online

Update August 16, 2007 17:02 :
We are down to 366.062 users online

Update August 16, 2007 17:25 :
Politiken.dk decided to link to this page :D

Update August 16, 2007 23:00 from Skype.com:
Hello everyone,

Apologies for the delay, but we can now update you on the Skype sign-on issue. As we continue to work hard at resolving the problem, we wanted to dispel some of the concerns that you may have. The Skype system has not crashed or been victim of a cyber attack. We love our customers too much to let that happen. This problem occurred because of a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user’s own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network.

Rest assured that everyone at Skype is working around the clock — from Tallinn to Luxembourg to San Jose — to resume normal service as quickly as possible.

Update August 16, 2007 23:44 :
We are down to 124.059 users online

Update August 17, 2007 00:26 :
Skype now says 162.582 users online and the download is again available so lets hope that when we wake up tomorrow Skype will work again.

Update August 17, 2007 03:15 from Skype.com:
Hello again,

Everyone at Skype continues to work hard at resolving the current software issue. We are making good progress. We feel that we are on the right track to bring back services to normal.

We thank you for your continued support and are thinking of you every step of the way.

Update August 17, 2007 05:00 from Skype.com:
Hello,

just wanted to drop a line that everyone at Skype working on resolving the sign-on issue is still up. We’re fixing issues in our networking software and monitoring the clients getting online with increased success.

It’s been a loooong day (and night) for many and we are gradually moving to new shifts of fresh brains to help out those getting to well deserved few hours of sleep. Be sure that the Skype family as a whole will not retire before you can get back to all the Skype conversations you want, need or just feel like having. Sorry for keeping you split that long.

Update August 17, 2007 08:00 from Skype.com:
Hey,

even though it is too early to call out anything definite yet we are now seeing signs of improvement in our sign-on performance. We continue to monitor the situation through Europe waking up this morning and have more for you in approximately 4 hours.

My client is now occasionally bringing in stacks of unread multichats. Hope yours too.

Update August 17, 2007 12:00 from Skype.com:
As Europe has woken up to a new day and Asia is entering the evening hours, here’s the latest on the sign-on problem.

We’re on the road to recovery. Skype is stabilizing, but this process may continue throughout the day.

An encouraging number of users can now use Skype once again. We know we’re not out of the woods yet, but we are in better shape now than we were yesterday.

Finally, we’d like to dispel a couple of theories that we are still hearing. Neither Wednesday’s planned maintenance of our web-based payment services nor any form of attack was related to the current sign-on issues in any way.

We’ll update you again as soon as we can. Thanks for hanging tight.

Update August 17, 2007 12:59 :
Politiken.dk posted an updated article still linking here!

Update August 17, 2007 14:19 :
I have been connecting and disconnecting all day and my users are still not able to use Skype.

Update August 18, 2007 1:02 from Skype.com:
We are pleased to announce that the situation continues to improve. The sign-on problems have been resolved. Skype presence and chat may still take a few more hours to be fully operational. We know what our faithful users have been going through and we thank you for your patience and kind support.

If you are one of the minority who may still be experiencing problems, please be patient. You do not need to adjust or restart your computer. Skype will start working for you very soon.

We will issue a further update when we know that Skype is functioning normally, or if there is further material news.

We’ve commandeered extra supplies of pizza and coffee, and we can promise that the Skype people aren’t going anywhere until they’re happy that everything is back to normal.

Update August 18, 2007 2:44 from Skype.com:
Please ignore the “Problems with Skype login” text in the Heartbeat status box above, next to “Sign-in and registration”, as well as “P2P network core”. The text should read “All working normally”

Skype is working again!!! Skype is working again (Y)

Update August 18, 2007 12:00 from Skype.com:
Take a deep breath. Skype is back to normal.

On Monday, we’ll provide a more detailed explanation of what happened. Until then, we’d like to apologize and thank you. Precisely in that order.

We know how difficult and frustrating the past two days have been. And still, your good wishes kept flowing in. Thank you for the amazing patience, trust and support!

Update August 20, 2007 6:35 from Skype.com first two paragraphs edited at 12:45:
On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was initiated by a massive restart of our user’s computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine software update.

The abnormally high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. Regrettably, as a result of this disruption, Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately two days.

The issue has now been identified explicitly within Skype. We can confirm categorically that no malicious activities were attributed or that our users’ security was not, at any point, at risk.

This disruption was unprecedented in terms of its impact and scope. We would like to point out that very few technologies or communications networks today are guaranteed to operate without interruptions.

We are very proud that over the four years of its operation, Skype has provided a technically resilient communications tool to millions of people worldwide. Skype has now identified and already introduced a number of improvements to its software to ensure that our users will not be similarly affected in the unlikely possibility of this combination of events recurring.

The Skype community of users has been incredibly supportive and we are very grateful for all their good wishes.

Update August 21, 2007 12:00 from Skype.com:
Yesterday, we posted an explanation of what happened to Skype on August 16. Some reactions to the explanation, however, have reminded us of one of the basic tenets of communication: It’s not what you say. It’s what they hear. We’d therefore like to clear a few misunderstandings that emerged in yesterday’s reactions to our explanation of what transpired last week.

1. Are we blaming Microsoft for what happened?

We don’t blame anyone but ourselves. The Microsoft Update patches were merely a catalyst — a trigger — for a series of events that led to the disruption of Skype, not the root cause of it. And Microsoft has been very helpful and supportive throughout.

The high number of post-update reboots affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources at the time, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact. The self-healing mechanisms of the P2P network upon which Skype’s software runs have worked well in the past. Simply put, every single time Skype has needed to recover from reboots that naturally accompany a routine Windows Update, there hasn’t been a problem.

Unfortunately, this time, for the first time, Skype was unable to rise to the challenge and the reasons for this were exceptional. In this instance, the day’s Skype traffic patterns, combined with the large number of reboots, revealed a previously unseen fault in the P2P network resource allocation algorithm Skype used. Consequently, the P2P network’s self-healing function didn’t work quickly enough. Skype’s peer-to-peer core was not properly tuned to cope with the load and core size changes that occurred on August 16. The reboots resulting from software patching merely served as a catalyst. This combination of factors created a situation where the self-healing needed outside intervention and assistance by our engineers.

2. What was different about this set of Microsoft update patches?

In short – there was nothing different about this set of Microsoft patches. During a joint call soon after problems were detected, Skype and Microsoft engineers went through the list of patches that had been pushed out. We ruled each one out as a possible cause for Skype’s problems. We also walked through the standard Windows Update process to understand it better and to ensure that nothing in the process had changed from the past (and nothing had). The Microsoft team was fantastic to work with, and after going through the potential causes, it appeared clearer than ever to us that our software’s P2P network management algorithm was not tuned to take into account a combination of high load and supernode rebooting.

3. How come previous Microsoft update patches didn’t cause disruption?

That’s because the update patches were not the cause of the disruption. In previous instances where a large number of supernodes in the P2P network were rebooted, other factors of a “perfect storm” had not been present. That is, there had not been such a combination of high usage load during supernode rebooting. As a result, P2P network resources were allocated efficiently and self-healing worked fast enough to overcome the challenge.

4. Has the bug been fixed? Should Skype users worry about future Microsoft Update patches and reboots?

Yes, the bug has been squashed. The parameters of the P2P network have been tuned to be smarter about how similar situations should be handled. Once we found the algorithmic fix to ensure continued operation in the face of high numbers of client reboots, the efforts focused squarely on stabilising the P2P core. The fix means that we’ve tuned Skype’s P2P core so that it can cope with simultaneous P2P network load and core size changes similar to those that occurred on August 16. We’d like to reassure our users across the globe that we’ve done everything we need to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We’ve already introduced a number of improvements to our software to ensure our users will not be similarly affected – in the unlikely possibility of this combination of events recurring.

44 Responses to “Skype down due to Peer-to-Peer network issues”

  1. Anders says:

    Ha I am still online :p – 248.938 at 17:55 CET

  2. Philip says:

    Still online.. yeehaaa.. 259.546 users online

  3. Anders says:

    So when philip wrote there were more online than when I wrote.. can only mean that we can’t really trust the number that skype says.

  4. Philip says:

    The number just changed to 247.682

  5. Philip says:

    Ahhr.. com’on.. just god thrown off..

  6. Philip says:

    ONLINE again!! what?!.. 176.109 users

  7. Philip says:

    dropping quickly.. 164.587

  8. Philip says:

    It just turned. 162,612 one minte ago.. now up to 166,081.

  9. Anders says:

    184.044 – maybe they have fixed the login :)

  10. Philip says:

    Number of skype users historically low: 148,105. Beat that. :)

  11. magnus says:

    70.033

    Usually 6.000.000 users now 70.033. 70.033/6.000.000=1,167% of normal.
    Consumer confidence of being a substantial substitute to the phone?

  12. Anders says:

    118.926

    Magnus – true! Funny thing is that this is a peer2peer network, but it still have a central place where it can break down.

  13. lotte_engholm says:

    109.243 users onlinge now – they have got a problem

  14. Karen says:

    I just got back on for a few seconds… about 10.370 users online….

    Looking forward to getting my main means of communication back….

    Hvorfor er sproget på denne side (tyksak) egentligt engelsk??

    /Karen

  15. Nicholas says:

    58.010… wow!

  16. Henjabond says:

    Hope the problem soon will be solved.

  17. Kristian says:

    I’ve got 677… beat that!

  18. leifkr1131 says:

    Who is getting any information from Skype – nothing on their official website?!! Have not been able to log on for 24 hours now. Quite frustrating Skype guys – get to work and get it fixed!!

  19. Finn Drouet Majlergaard says:

    83526 users…and among my users only the people owing me money are online..is that a coincidence?

  20. Søren Malling says:

    Depending on when ever you get out of bed, my Skype logged in perfectly this morning

    3.191.960 users online and raising

  21. mr snap says:

    Hvem gider bruge det **** alligevel???

  22. Annemette says:

    I am disconnected on and off all the time

  23. Michael says:

    My connection jumps on and off. More off than on. My friend in Vietnam cannot be logged on at all.

  24. Stefan says:

    Hmm… Just some seconds ago I was online, but now I am offline again :-)
    I think there was like 2.2 million online…

    Hopefully they fix the problem very soon – it is hard to live without the Skype connection :-)

  25. Topic says:

    I am online now plus 2,406,000 and is still connected for more than a minute cause usually it was connected only for some seconds

    still connected

    Lets hope is solved!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Topic says:

    disconnected again :(

  27. Søren I Larsen says:

    I would have been most helpful if these problems had been visible on the welcome page of http://www.skype.com.

    I went there several times when I was cut off, and finding nothing there, I thought that the problems was local on my machine. It is only now I find out that it is a general problem.

    Søren

  28. TykSak says:

    @Søren I Larsen:
    Thats true and what we can learn now is to check http://heartbeat.skype.com/?_a=announcements
    I also had to look for it as I cant remeber ever needing to check the “health” of Skype!

  29. Søren I Larsen says:

    @TykSak
    Thanks for drawing my attention to that link, I did not know of its existence.

    And I am selfconfident enough to conclude that if I did not find it – and in fact I looked for something similar – it is too well hidden …

  30. Hans K. Espersen says:

    It seems we have been so unfortunate to encounter the first SKYPE break-down I have witnessed in the 3 years I have been using it.

    I too tried to search for info last night concerned about virus etc…. I even updated my SKYPE to a new version just in case (O;

  31. Hans K. Espersen says:

    I actually also looked for something like the “heart beat” in SKYPE help, perhaps a good place to place the link?

  32. TykSak says:

    They updated the english frontpage to include the info:
    http://www.skype.com/intl//en-gb/
    but not the danish :/

  33. Hans K. Espersen says:

    Still unstabile performance, saw 2,6M online ½ an hour ago now down to 2,4M and have just been off-line in Bulgaria for the first time since noon.

    Seems there is still some problems to resolve )O;

    Unfortunately depending on SKYPE both for business and personal use.

  34. Hans K. Espersen says:

    3M – almost ½ the “SKYPE- POWER” (O;

  35. Ole W says:

    Guys

    Well yesterday 2 out my normal 20-30 online contacts were actually online – today I have seen 1. (meaning I dont believe in skype-figures of online-users)

    I just wonder how on earth was this company bought for so much money and secondly if the success (number of users) killed it…?

    Thirdly- you can only copy your skype contacts to other messengers when you are online on skype

    fourth – yes there are other free ones with equal or better voice quality

    fifth – well now I know why skype is for free

    sixth – I hope they get it up again .-)

  36. Monika says:

    How can I get my mony back that I payed to skype????
    There’s noone to contact!! Did I really lost my mony?

  37. TykSak says:

    Skype is up again!!!

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