Sunday, August 30th saw some hiccups in people’s ability to connect to Second Life, with users either unable to log-in or, if already logged, abruptly found themselves abruptly disconnected and unable to log back in.
For some, the issues were relatively transitory (I was logged out and unable to log back in for about 20 minutes) whilst others were subjected to longer periods of frustration being expressed at the lack of any immediate status feed updates.
On Monday, August 31st, April Linden blogged as to why this was the case.
In short, the issue wasn’t with Second Life; rather, US-based CenturyLink/Level(3), a global supplier of Internet bandwidth providing Internet services via their Tier 1 network to Internet carriers in Europe, Asia, and North America, suffered a significant outage. As a result of this many services and users around the world suffered issues in network connectivity / their ability to connect to the Internet. However, from the Lab’s operational perspective, nothing initially appeared to be wrong: all services were running, no alerts were received, and no alarms triggered. However, as April notes in her blog post:
Of course, from the Resident point of view, Second Life was effectively down in some parts of the world, and that’s really what matters.
To help us react quicker in the future we’ve made a few changes.
Yesterday evening we added a new monitoring service that checks on some of Second Life’s core systems from all around the globe. It’s a service that a lot of other companies use too, so we’ll get alerted better in the future. When Internet-scale events like yesterday happen there’s not a lot we can do about it, but we can post on the status page quicker to let our Residents know we’re aware things aren’t right.
We’re sorry for the lack of communication yesterday. We know how important Second Life is to our Residents, and we’re taking steps to increase our visibility into issues outside of our servers. It’s our hope that these steps will enable us to communicate better with y’all in the future.
See you inworld!
Second Life Operations Manager
I’ve long appreciated April’s blog posts, as not only do they help explain the complexities of Second Life and when things can go wrong as and when they do, they also help to remind us that using Second Life isn’t simply a matter of the viewer and the simulator it is connected to. There are a lot of intermediary services and steps that can also cause problems for users, and which lie well outside of Linden Lab’s sphere of influence and ability to rectify. In this particularly case, April’s post also shows that even when the latter is the case, it doesn’t stop her team from trying to tweak / improve things so they can be better informed about potential issues in the future.
So thank you again, April, for keeping us informed and educated!