Facebook outage likely cost the company over $ 60 million

Facebook outage likely cost the company over $ 60 million

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In a major outage yesterday, Facebook, along with its sister sites WhatsApp and Instagram, were inaccessible for hours. DownDetector real-time website status tracker received more than 14 million reports from users who were unable to use the social media giant’s applications and services.

But beyond the obvious drawbacks for those disconnected from these services, yesterday’s outage has had financial repercussions not just for Facebook, but for many small businesses that rely on the platform.

Downtime is estimated to cost Facebook more than $ 60 million

Facebook’s revenue in 2020 was $ 86 billion. Experts have used this number to approximate the average loss incurred by the company yesterday at $ 163,565 for every minute of the interruption. Over the six hour period, this adds up to approximately $ 60 million in lost revenue. Another report from Fortune nailed the $ 100 million loss, stating that “for many companies, a $ 100 million drop in revenue over any period of time would be a financial event of great concern. For Facebook, it is (for now) a drop in the bucket that investors will probably shrug their shoulders. “

More than the loss of revenue, the event also affected Facebook shares, which fell 4.9 percent on Monday, translating to $ 47.3 billion in lost market capitalization.

Julian Dunn, Director of Product Marketing at PagerDuty, helps companies address outages, telling Ars: “outages [at companies] like Facebook and Instagram they mean a lot of money for companies. Some companies are estimated to lose nearly $ 5 million for every hour of interruption on your website. Although outages of several hours are relatively rare, even brief ones (15 minutes or half an hour) have a huge impact, as impatient consumers are too eager to leave one site and go elsewhere. Additionally, there is a huge effect on the IT and developer teams that keep the systems running at the sites we visit every day. “

And the losses don’t end there. Some small businesses and firms had the equivalent of a “snow day” yesterday. Boutiques and stores Relying heavily on social media platforms to communicate with customers, schedule appointments and receive payments, they were left without means to execute operations.

“Configuration changes” blamed for implosion

Facebook apologized for the inconvenience caused by the incident. “To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s disruption to our platforms. We have worked as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now working again. The underlying cause of this outage also affected many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the issue, “said Santosh Janardhan, vice president of infrastructure at Facebook. .

New York Times tech reporter Sheera Frenkel also reported that some Facebook employees were unable to enter the office buildings because the credential access systems were also down due to the outage.

While cybersecurity experts had initially turned everyone’s attention to Facebook’s missing DNS records, the likely cause of the outage was later attributed to incorrect BGP settings. An extensive analysis by Celso Martinho and Tom Strickx of Cloudflare explains how engineers identified the BGP routes that had been removed from the Internet:

Routes were taken down, Facebook’s DNS servers went offline, and a minute after the issue occurred, Cloudflare engineers were in a room wondering why [our DNS service,] could not be resolved facebook.com and worrying that it was somehow a glitch in our systems. With those [BGP route] withdrawals, Facebook and its sites had effectively been disconnected from the Internet.

But what appeared to outside observers as BGP and DNS problems was actually the result of a configuration change that affected the entire internal backbone.

in a Post mortem Update posted yesterday, Facebook’s Janardhan stated that “configuration changes to the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused problems that disrupted this communication. This disruption of network traffic had a cascading effect. in the way our data centers communicate, providing our services stand up. “

Facebook services were restored at approximately 7pm ET yesterday. The company has explicitly stated that the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change and that there is no indication at this time that user data has been compromised. Regardless, the incident is a testament to the dominance of social media and messaging platforms in various aspects of our lives and commerce, so their availability is no longer optional.


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