Weekend Internet Havoc

So if you’re an internet junkie, you would’ve noticed how everything good was down during the weekend. Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, Netflix, Foursquare etc. are some of the sites that were affected.

THE STORM
You probably heard the story.

Massive storms wiped out power in the Washington D.C. area causing several servers to go down.

Server  down, man down.

One of the casualties is Amazon. As I’ve just recently learned, Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (or Amazon EC2) powers sites like Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram. These  websites (and many others) rely on EC2’s web services so if Amazon’s servers are down… their supported sites will be down as well.

So, uhm… yeah, that’s the reason why we were not able to use Instagram last Saturday.

TL:DR ?

Server down -> web down.

THE IRONY
Google just recently announced Compute Engine, its infrastructure that will directly compete with industry heavyweight, Amazon EC2. #LeSigh

THE LEAP SECOND

Reddit, Foursquare, Mozilla and some other sites were down yesterday. (Sunday PI time) Apparently, this is due to the clocks being altered by the experts.

WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH IT?
Hmmm… Atomic clocks are the standard time of the world. Every once in a while, a leap second is applied to the atomic clocks because the Earth’s rotation speed changes irregularly. Timekeepers do this in order to keep the clocks in sync with the slowing rotation of the Earth.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Some computer systems found the changes in time weird so they choked up.

Check out LeBron to know more about choking. 

Computers use the NTP to keep themselves aligned with atomic clocks but with the extra second added, the components of the system (I read it’s Linux?) did not know how to handle the changes.

TL:DR ?

Earth’s rotation slowed down -> timekeepers sync atomic clocks -> NTP follows atomic clock -> systems based on NTP get confused -> sites down

On the other hand, since this has been happening for quite a while now, Google found a way to deal with it.

Check out their solution, it’s called leap smear.

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