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Trouble in the Tubes – A few notes on Today’s Outage

By Dave Olson | 3 years ago | 46 Comments

As mentioned via Twitter, HootSuite is currently down. We will do our best to keep you up to date on the status.

(all times Pacific UTC -8)

UPDATE April 21, 9:54 PM

Service restored at approximately 9:25PM – Note: some social profiles and accounts added since Wednesday 10:30PM may not be available at this time. Thanks for your patience. #

UPDATE April 21, 1:23 PM

Media Bistro - HootSuite Offline for Hours: How Are You Coping?

As Mashable reports, HootSuite is suffering downtime alongside FourSquare and Reddit, due to some technical problems with Amazon’s servers.

The error page is admittedly pretty cute, and at first I smiled to see an owl in a hardhat, but that is only enough to distract me for about 20 seconds… then I realize that this means I don’t have access to my lists, my @mentions, all of my social profiles in one place…

Amazon Web Services caused several popular Web sites to crash this morning.

HootSuite, a social media aggregator, was among them, causing our resident social media gurus problems. And good luck if you were trying to be a mayor of Foursquare or ask pressing questions on Quora; those sites crashed too.

UPDATE April, 21, 1:10

Ow.ly & Ht.ly back up.

UPDATE April, 21, 12:45

Ow.ly & Ht.ly are again offline.

UPDATE April, 21, 12:20

Ow.ly & Ht.ly (HootSuite’s URL shortener services) are back on-line meaning all ow.ly/ht.ly links will now work and you can continue to shorten links and store files on this service. Additionally, all custom URL shorteners are back online.

UPDATE: April, 21, 11:42

For the record, here are a few articles about the widespread situation affecting many other web sites along with HootSuite.com. We understand the frustrations of our users and are very eager to resolve this problem.

These articles and excerpts will help provide background on the situation:

Update from Amazon at approx 11AM PT April 21

Service disruption: Instance connectivity, latency and error rates.
A number of people have asked us for an ETA on when well be fully recovered. We deeply understand why this is important and promise to share this information as soon as we have an estimate that we believe is close to accurate. Our high-level ballpark right now is that the ETA is a few hours. We can assure you that all-hands are on deck to recover as quickly as possible. Well update the community as we have more information.

Track Amazon status at: http://status.aws.amazon.com/

Mashable - Amazon Server Troubles Take Down Reddit, Foursquare & HootSuite

Some of Amazon’s AWS services, which together comprise the company’s cloud computing platform, are currently experiencing technical difficulties, and it’s very visible on the social web.

HootSuiteReddit and Foursquare are some of the sites that rely on Amazon AWS, and all of them are either down or have recently experienced downtime or latency issues. Quora and Formspring also appear to be down Thursday morning.

The issues are also visible on Amazon’s AWS Service Health Dashboard, which is showing problems with several services, namely Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Relational Database Service and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk.

The Next Web – Amazon EC2 troubles bring down Reddit, Foursquare, Quora, Hootsuite and more

The popularity of Amazon’s cheap, easily scalable hosting is showing its downside right now, with a number of popular websites and services throwing up errors or being down completely.

FoursquareQuoraRedditMoby and Hootsuite are among those affected by technical troubles on Amazon’s servers. The company’s status dashboard currently shows problems with the company’s Elastic Compute Cloud and Relational Database Service operations, based in North Virginia, with connectivity issues confirmed.

We can confirm connectivity errors impacting EC2 instances and increased latencies impacting EBS volumes in multiple availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region. Increased error rates are affecting EBS CreateVolume API calls. We continue to work towards resolution.

New Enterprise – Amazon’s Cloud Crashed Overnight, And Brought Several Other Companies Down Too

Update: Here’s more companies that are affected by the outage, according to status updates on Twitter.

Hootsuite, the cloud-based Twitter client, is down because of the outage too. Here’s what the site looks like right now. Also down is the Hootsuite URL shortener ow.ly.

Huffington Post – Reddit, Quora, Foursquare, Hootsuite Go Down Due To Amazon EC2 Cloud Service Troubles

Amazon’s affordable cloud-based EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) Web hosting service has attracted many popular startups in the social media space, and technical issues this morning have taken down several popular services including Foursquare, Reddit, Quora, Hootsuite and Moby.

Amazon obviously has a huge online retail presence, but the company is also one of the world’s leading cloud services providers — startups are drawn to EC2′s variable pricing model that lets them scale as they grow. Unfortunately, with these sites being hosted on a single service, a big outage has been able to take down a swath of the social Web.

Highlighting the double-edged sword of centralized cloud hosting, CNET writes that earlier this morning Quora’s homepage noted, “We’ll be back shortly, we hope. Sorry, it sucks for us too. We’d point fingers, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without EC2.”

Amazon says it’s still working on the issue. According to its status dashboard, Amazon’s North Virginia servers started experiencing problems at 1:41 AM, and it’s still causing downtime issues at all of the sites. For the latest, check FoursquareRedditQuora and Hootsuite.

More via Techmeme:

Data Center KnowledgeBetaNewsBetween the LinesVentureBeatTechFlash,InquirerpaidContentGizmodoSmoothSpan BlogThe RegisterGeekWireYahoo! News@spolsky and Social Markets

Even more: GigaOMCNNMoney.comTechCrunch EuropeBusiness WireReadWriteWebTech Trader DailyGuardianCenterNetworksTDW GeeksCNET NewsSAIGeekosystemSoftpedia News and broadstuff

And a few quotes from Hootfans coping with the outage:

Star Foster - Come the Rapture Your Interwebs Is Down

I use Hootsuite everyday. As often as I eat food and use toilet paper. As often as I wash my hands and look out the window to check the weather. Today, it’s down, as well as Foursquare, Reddit and other services relying on Amazon’s cloud service. Twitter is full of folks adrift and a’ranting over the outage.

We’ll continue to update as possible. Thanks for your patience as we work diligently to resolve this.

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40 comments
Mary Jane Murray
Mary Jane Murray

Need some help....streams on my dashboard won't scroll. I can move the cursor down but it doesn't "hold". It keeps popping back to the top. What can I do to fix this?

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Hi Holly, This outage was an isolated incident and we enjoy top tier performance so you can use HootSuite with confidence. Enjoy!

-- daveo

Holly Crawford
Holly Crawford

Hi Dave,

Sorry to post on an old post but does Hoot still come across anymore problems lately? I am thinking about using Hoot and heard quite a few things about it, but if it's going to cause problems, I think I will try my best to keep doing everything manually. Thanks.

Holly X

kevin chapman
kevin chapman

I no longer have an option to add streams to any of my linked accounts? How can I fix that? I am using the Iphone Application on my 3G

Michael Solomon
Michael Solomon

My Twitter and Facebook accounts have disappeared. Does this mean I have to start over or is this data, along with history, going to come back at some point??????

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Unless your accounts were entered during the period mentioned above, you should be fine. If not, please submit a ticket at the help desk at: http://help.hootsuite.com

Danielle Hatfield
Danielle Hatfield

Agree with Christopher. Your communication and transparency have been impeccable. Thank you for everything you do to make the Hootsuite community and experience enjoyable!

Jane Doe
Jane Doe

Does this outage have anything to do with the "confidential" e-mail I received a couple weeks back about how HootSuite wants to get out of the social media platform sector?

PS: Please don't do games. Need my HootSuite more than a subpar Angry Birds knock off.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Hi Jane, The "Happy Owls" game and a related "confidential" email was part of an April fool's Day joke. We're still hard at work on our social media dashboard.

Luke
Luke

Our social media person is away and he set me up on hootsuite on Friday. I had to set up a login again but now I don't have access to any of the tabs he originally gave me access to...any suggestions?

Denny Russell
Denny Russell

Appreciate the communication and hard work to get it back up. One thing that I was surprised happened is when I first got into Hootsuite on my iPhone in the morning. Before I knew of the outage, Hootsuite loaded and gave me a message saying something to the affect, 'None of your accounts exist, we will remove them now'. I had no way out other than an OK. So now I have to set up my phone again. Hootsuite in the browser is fine, but the phone architecture confused me. Just wanted to give you the heads up.

By the way, great product you have here. I found myself lost yesterday not having Hootsuite. Felt so old school having to go and check each of my accounts manually. Keep up the good work.

Nathaniel Cassidy
Nathaniel Cassidy

Considering the rapid growth and boom in social web technologies over the last few years I think a bump every now and then is to be expected. What matters is how it is handled and communicated; as far as Hootsuite is concerned I think it was handled very well. I am also keen to not lambast Amazon too much as after all without their well priced accessible cloud hosting a number of the services we know and love would not have made it off the ground.

Paul
Paul

Hi

Post outage I discovered I had lost my pending tweets and drafts. Will they be restored?

Many thanks

Paul

Mike Abasov
Mike Abasov

They should be in the Pending Updates tab as "failed to send."

Matt Duench
Matt Duench

I have pending tweets that I need to cancel, but they don't show up in my pending messages tab. It looks like they'll still deploy as I had them scheduled, but I don't want that. Any help on how to delete them?

Angelos Koutoumanos
Angelos Koutoumanos

I must admit, I thought the outage was very long, but having read this, I think you dealt with it neatly! Communication wise, too :)

Keep it up :)

Agkou

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks Angelos, you never know what's going to happen so glad our communications and engineering teams were able to mitigate quickly.

david bram
david bram

I found out how much I rely on Hootsuite and how much I really like using it.

Thanks for the great communication and support as well as the terrific product.

Jen Falci
Jen Falci

Virtually Jennifer & her clients are MISSING Hootsuite today! Come back soon!

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

We missed you too! Glad to be back.

Christopher M Dancy
Christopher M Dancy

This is historic. Your communication is perfect. Hard day for everyone. Good on you Hootsuite.

Chris

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Thanks Christopher - means a lot to hear your kind words.

Juan Altitude
Juan Altitude

The outing just reminds me how I much I like HootSuite. As for the haters: "Amazon’s cheap, easily scalable hosting is showing its downside right now", I say, that stuff can happen anywhere, anytime.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Yes indeed – but this outage was a wee bit surprising. We are tuning our hosting to prevent future mishaps.

Christina
Christina

Eagerly awaiting HootSuite to be back up and running! Looking forward to updates as they come.

Stephen
Stephen

I'm sure we'll survive. Once things get back up try to come up with a plan to make your service more resilient. Amazon will do the same on their end and then we all win. A little bit of downtime is no fun, most days you all provide a solid service though and that should be commended.

Dave Olson
Dave Olson

Indeed, we have taken steps to prevent similar mishaps in the future.

Ron Service
Ron Service

Why are people complaining? You get what you pay for. All those sites mentioned above are "Free". Amazon is a book selling company. Providing Hosting Services is not their core business, so we should not be surprised that we have an outage.

Monica
Monica

When Hootsuite comes back up, what happens to all the scheduled tweets I had pending for today? Are they all going to post simultaneously due to back log?

Mike Abasov
Mike Abasov

No, these posts will stay in the Pending Updates tab as "failed to send."

Kurt
Kurt

Mike, not the case for me. My pending tweets all disappeared. Plus, not Hootsuite will not let me post to anything, even after removing/deauthorizing and reconnecting.