Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Case Study: Facebook outage

I'm a bit late to the story (something called a day job getting in the way!) but I can't pass up an opportunity to discuss how Facebook handled the "worst outage [they've] had in over four years".  I blogged about the intra-incident communication the day they had the outage, so let's review the postmortem that came out after they had recovered, and how they handled the downtime as a whole.






Using the "Upside of Downtime" framework (above) as a guide:
  1. Prepare: Much room for improvement. The health status feed is hard to find for the average user/developer, and the information was limited. On the plus side, it exists. Twitter was also used to communicate updates, but again the information was limited.
  2. Communicate: Without a strong foundation create by the Prepare step, you don't have much opportunity to excel at the Communicate step. There was an opportunity to use the basic communication channels they had in place (status feed, twitter) more effectively by communicating throughout the incident, with more actionable information, but alas this was not the case. Instead, there was mass speculation about the root cause and the severity. That is exactly what you want to strive to avoid.
  3. Explain: Let's find out by running the postmortem through our guideline for postmortem communication...


Prerequisites:
  1. Admit failure - Excellent, almost a textbook admittance without hedging or blaming.
  2. Sound like a human - Well done. Posted from Director of Engineering at Facebook Robert Johnson's personal account, the tone and style was personal and effective.
  3. Have a communication channel - Can be improved greatly. Making the existing health status page easier to find, more public, and more useful would help in all future incidents. I've covered how Facebook can improve this page in a previous post.
  4. Above all else, be authentic - No issues here.
Requirements:
  1. Start time and end time of the incident - Missing.
  2. Who/what was impacted - Partial. I can understand this being difficult in the case of Facebook, but I would have liked to see more specifics around how many many users were affected. On one hand this is a global consumer service that may not be critical to people's lives. On the other hand though, if you treat your users with respect, they'll reward you for it.
  3. What went wrong - Well done, maybe the best part of the postmortem.
  4. Lessons learned - Partial. It sounds like many lessons were certainly learned, but they weren't directly shared. I'd love to know what the "design patterns of other systems at Facebook that deal more gracefully with feedback loops and transient spikes" look like.
Bonus:
  1. Details on the technologies involved - No
  2. Answers to the Five Why's - No
  3. Human elements - heroic efforts, unfortunate coincidences, effective teamwork, etc - No
  4. What others can learn from this experience - Marginal


Biggest lesson for us to take away: Preparation is key to successfully managing outages, and using them to build trust with your users.

13 comments:

  1. All the best blogs that is very useful for keeping me share the ideas
    of the future as well this is really what I was looking for, and I am
    very happy to come here. Thank you very much
    earn to die
    earn to die 2
    earn to die 3
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    earn to die 4
    courage to go ahead and give youu a shout out from
    earn to die 6
    Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell
    earn to die 5
    you keep up the fantastic work!my weblog
    age of war
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    happy wheels
    strike force heroes
    slitherio
    good game empire

    ReplyDelete
  2. Welcomes to google terminal from Austin Texas! google snake
    Amazing insight you have on this, Happy wheels it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists... Age of war 2 This article always blew me... Earn to die For how many times I have read this.
    slither io Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while slitherio it's nice to find a website that details so much big farm

    ReplyDelete
  3. Coach Outlet http://www.coachstoreoutlet.us.org

    Christian Louboutin Shoes http://www.christianlouboutinshoe.eu.com

    Valentino Shoes http://www.valentinoshoes.eu.com

    Michael Kors Outlet http://www.michaelkorsoutlet.us.org

    Coach Factory Outlet http://www.coachfactoryoutlet.us.org

    Coach Outlet Online http://www.coachoutletonlinestore.us.org

    Coach Purses http://www.coachpurse.us.com

    Kate Spade Outlet http://www.katespadefactoryoutlet.us.com

    Toms Shoes http://www.toms-shoes.name

    Hermes Belts http://www.hermesbelts.us.org

    Louis Vuitton http://www.louisvuitton-outletstores.us.com

    Fendi Handbags http://www.fendibelt.us.com

    Giuseppe Shoes http://www.giuseppezanotti.eu.com

    Michael Kors Outlet http://www.michael-kors-outlet.us.com

    Stephen Curry Shoes http://www.stephencurryshoes.us.com

    Salomon Shoes http://www.salomonshoes.eu.com

    North Face Outlet http://www.northfacesoutlet.in.net

    Coach Outlet http://www.outletcoach.in.net

    North Face Outlet http://www.northfacesoutlet.us.com

    Burberry Outlet http://www.burberryoutletstore.us.org

    North Face Outlet http://www.north-faceoutlets.in.net

    North Face Jackets http://www.outletnorthface.in.net

    Skechers Shoes http://www.skechersshoes.us.com

    Toms Outlethttp://www.tomsoutletstore.us.org

    North Face Outlet http://www.northfacestoreoutlet.us.org

    Nike Air Max http://www.nikeoutlet.us.org

    Nike Hoodies http://www.nikehoodies.us.com

    Marc Jacobs Handbags http://www.marcjacobshandbags.name

    Marc Jacobs Outlet http://www.marcjacobsoutletstore.us.com

    Jimmy Choo Shoes http://www.jimmy-chooshoes.us.com

    Jimmy Choos http://www.jimmychoos.in.net

    Burberry Belt http://www.burberrybelt.us.com

    Louis Vuitton Belt http://www.louisvuitton-belt.com

    Salvatore Ferragamo http://www.ferragamo-belt.us.com

    Marc Jacobs Handbags http://marcjacobshandbagsoutlet.blog.com

    Lululemon Outlet http://www.lululemonsoutlet.us.com

    True Religion Outlet http://www.truereligion-outlets.in.net

    Tommy Hilfiger http://www.tommyhilfigeroutlet.us.com

    Michael Kors Outlet http://www.outletmichaelkors.eu.com

    Coach Outlet http://www.outletcoach.eu.com

    Red Bottoms http://www.redbottom.in.net

    Kevin Durant Shoes http://www.kevindurantshoes.us.org

    New Balance Outlet http://www.newbalanceoutlet.in.net

    Adidas Outlet http://www.adidasoutlet.in.net

    Coach Outlet Online http://www.coachoutlet-online.eu.com

    Stephen Curry Jersey http://www.stephencurryjersey.us.com

    Vans Outlet http://www.vansoutlet.us.com

    Ralph Lauren Outlet http://www.ralphlauren-outletstore.in.net

    True Religion Outlet http://www.true-religionoutlets.in.net

    ED Hardy Outlet http://www.edhardyoutlet.in.net

    North Face Outlet http://www.northfaceoutlet.eu.com

    UGG Outlet http://www.uggoutlet.us.org

    UGG Outlet http://www.outletugg.in.net

    North Face Outlet http://www.northface--outlet.us.com

    Ugg Boots Sale http://www.uggbootssale.in.net

    UGGS For Women http://www.uggsforwomen.us.com

    Skechers Go Walk http://www.skechersgowalk.us.com

    Adidas Yeezy Boost http://www.adidasyeezyboost.in.net

    Adidas Yeezy http://www.adidasyeezy.us.com

    Adidas NMD http://www.adidas-nmd.us.org

    Coach Outlet http://www.coachoutletinc.us.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. This reminds me when this one time I went to this new restaurant and I was amazed that so many people are willing to pay extra for what they could get at half the price somewhere else. Agen Poker

    ReplyDelete
  5. I find your opinion quite interesting, but the other day I stumbled upon a completely different advice from another blogger, I need to think that one through, thanks for posting. Poker Online Indonesia

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks, great post. I really like your point of view! Judi Poker

    ReplyDelete
  7. I really liked this part of the article, with a nice and interesting topics
    Agen Domino

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your post so Inspirative and good point.
    Thanks, great post. I really like your point of view!
    Bandar Ceme

    ReplyDelete
  9. That’s awesome! This post gives truly quality information. I love this post it very interesting and helpful for us, Thank for sharing all, Thank you so much. Poker Bonus Deposit Terbesar

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is great, you are good, i like your post and i still waiting our next post
    Bandar Ceme

    ReplyDelete