Big Screen Blog

Media Center, Windows Phone7 + Silverlight Goodness..

Ouch my website (worst outages in 6 years).. please be patient…

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*** UPDATE ************************************************************************************
Services seem to have been resumed to bigscreenglobal.com (and has been stable for at last past  1.5 hrs) – so hopefully everything is fixed (am yet to receive confirmation that It’s not on a backup link). Please also note that the US National Weather Service also appears to be suffering from some issues today – potentially from same root cause (and few of the US forecasts – such as ‘Seattle’ – don’t currently have forecast data) – so please be patient there – or select a nearby city until the data is returned to normal (as it appears only a small % of the US locations have been affected by this)
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For anyone trying to access the bigscreenglobal.com and/or mobilewares.net websites today (or trying to use the Big Screen Weather v2 product) – there’s been an almost a continuous outage for past 12 hours (with small patches of uptime) – and I’m ‘told’ may continue for a few more hours yet.  I do apologize for this – however unfortunately it’s completely beyond my control from all the way ‘down under’ .. 

This is without doubt the longest downtime I’ve seen in 6 years with hosting at this company (Brinkster.com – a very large/well known webhost providor) – so I imagine it’s currently affecting 100,000’s of sites at the moment. (so at least I’m not alone). I’m told that the cause is that their Phoenix hosting facility (where these sites live) is serviced by a backbone providor ‘Level 3’ – which is where the problem lies – and is trying to fix this issue (and are switching traffic on/off backup links in the meantime – hence the sparodic bursts of the site working).  In the past – the odd website outages I’ve experienced have generally lasted at most 5-10 minutes or so (and worst case scenarios I’ve had to contact Brinkster tech support and get them to reboot a server/router etc to fix the issues).

So please be patient if you are trying to signup for accounts/access the site or are trying to use Big Screen Weather 2 – or ‘activate’ any of the v2 products. (and is just rotten timing for me and users with the new brand/domain/product launch over the past few days).  Luckily I didn’t yet flick the ‘on’ switch for payments / and the various online ad/banner campaigns were not yet active (and due to start over next few days).

The good news however is that the live payment system is ready (which uses Paypal Merchant Services – to ensure security + safety of payments) – and some last minute testing was finalized yesterday (just a few hours shy of the outages).  As soon as I can confirm that the Backbone problems are fixed (and temporary routes are no longer in place) – I will be enabling payments – and will offer a temporary ‘Discount’ code on this blog for Weather v2 and Photos v2 for those of you who are ‘ready to make a purchase’ – and brave enough to ‘crash test’ the payment system. (and provide any feedback on the payment process in general).  So keep your eye out here for the code (which will be active for a 2-3 day window).

Also .. luckily – it appears that email services for these sites are ‘mostly’ in tact (albeit some delays might occur in sending) – and am not sure if this is due to them running from a different facility / or priority being given to emails over web services (with the limited backup links being used)… Also – luckily I still have this blog here (on Live! Spaces – not connected to my actual websites) – to notify/inform everyone what is going on… <phew>..

Over the next few weeks – one thing I’m going to be looking at – is ways to make some of these online services redundant (such as the Weather2 backend and activation services) – so the products are able to switch over to alternative servers/domains if problems like this ever exist in the future.

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Written by mobilewares

February 4, 2008 at 12:04 am

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