Twitter Gives Itself A Yellow Card For Downtime; Warns Of More To Come

As you may have noticed, Twitter had a rough night last night. It was completely down, mostly down, or just extremely buggy for several hours. And in fact, this entire month has been Twitter’s worst month in nearly a year, Twitter’s head of communications, Sean Garrett, writes on the Twitter blog today. Why is that? It’s a combination of factors, according to Garrett.

First of all, as Twitter noted a few days ago, their internal network needs to be overhauled pronto — and they’re working on that. The problem is that they’re also seeing record usage numbers — in part thanks to the world’s fascination with the World Cup tournament currently going on in South Africa.

We were well aware of the likely impact of the World Cup. What we didn’t anticipate was some of the complexities that have been inherent in fixing and optimizing our systems before and during the event,” Garrett writes.

Garrett cautions that the next two weeks could be bumpy as well — more periods of total downtime are expected. He says Twitter will not do the work that will likely cause downtime during the World Cup matches themselves.

He also links to the Pingdom report showing Twitter’s downtime over the past several months. As you can see, even with the big outages, they’re at 98.48% uptime. That said, that is well over of 5 hours of downtime for a service that many people rely on for various forms of communication in this day and age. For comparison’s sake, in February 2010, Twitter only had 50 total minutes of downtime — and in November 2009, it was only 22 minutes. But let’s not forget the Summer of 2008, when Twitter was literally down for just about a day’s worth of time some months.

Man, some of those posts were fun.

[photo: flickr/nathanf]