In a blog posting, following Twitter’s Thursday meltdown, Twitter VP of engineering, Mazen Rawashdeh, apologized for the social network’s failure.
“We are sorry. Many of you came to Twitter earlier today expecting, well, Twitter. Instead, between around 8:20am and 9:00am PT, users around the world got zilch from us. By about 10:25am PT, people who came to Twitter finally got what they expected: Twitter.”
So what happened? “The cause of today’s outage came from within our data centers. Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time,” wrote Rawashdeh.
“I wish I could say that today’s outage could be explained by the Olympics or even acascading bug. Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future.”
He concluded, “On behalf of our infrastructure team, we apologize deeply for the interruption you had today. Now — back to making the service even better and more stable than ever.”
Two things about this strike me as note-worthy. The first is how we count so much now on Twitter, and other social networks such as Facebook and free services like Google Talk, to just be there. We expect them to be as dependable as the water flowing into our houses. Here’s some simple truth for you: They’re not.
The other is that Twitter actually made a real apology to their users. Businesses almost never apologize. While I wasn’t happy that Twitter went down, I feel a lot better about Twitter, the company, than I have in a long time. Consider yourself forgiven Twitter.