Network failure knocks out BBC

Powered by SC Magazine
 

Faulty switch takes out BBC's websites for an hour

The BBC is looking into the causes of a technical failure that knocked its web estate down for an hour last night.

BBC News editor Steve Herrmann said the sites were down for a full hour, but came back live at about midnight.

"We haven't yet had a full technical debrief, but it's clear it was a major network problem," he posted to the BBC blog.

BBC staff suggested over Twitter it was down to a "faulty switch" or configuration problems. Others suggested that it looked like a problem with the BBC's DNS servers.

A BBC news report said Siemens, which provides the broadcaster's IT support, was looking into the problem, but its engineers got the sites back online by powering down equipment and turning it back on again.

During the outage, many took to Twitter to suggest more dramatic causes, including a distributed-denial-of-service attack by Anonymous.

"It's not often we get a message from the BBC's technical support teams saying, 'Total outage of all BBC websites'," Herrmann said.

"We'd like to apologise to everyone who couldn't get onto the BBC News website during that time," he added.

Update: The BBC's controller for digital distribution, Richard Cooper, has issued an explanation to the outage, saying multiple failures knocked the sites offline.

"Our systems are designed to be sufficiently resilient (multiple systems, and multiple data centres) to make an outage like this extremely unlikely," he said in a blog post.

"I'm afraid that last night we suffered multiple failures, with the result that the whole site went down."

"For the more technically minded, this was a failure in the systems that perform two functions," he added.

"The first is the aggregation of network traffic from the BBC's hosting centres to the internet. The second is the announcement of 'routes' onto the internet that allows BBC Online to be 'found.' With both of these having failed, we really were down."

He said the BBC would take a "hard look" at its systems to ensure such a fault didn't happen again.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing


Network failure knocks out BBC
 
 
 
Top Stories
There's no coke and hookers in the cloud
[Blog post] Where did the love go?
 
The True Cost of BYOD - 2014 survey
Twelve months on from our first study, is BYOD a better proposition?
 
Five zero-cost ways to improve MySQL performance
How to easily boost MySQL throughput by up to 5x.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  68%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  11%
 
Denial of service attacks
  6%
 
Insider threats
  12%
TOTAL VOTES: 1043

Vote