Usually when a major website such as Twitter or Facebook goes down unexpectedly it’s because of a surge of user activity that has seen more people than normal attempt to access the website. Events such as the death of Michael Jackson earlier this year caused Twitter to go into meltdown for example.
On December 3rd Microsoft’s Bing suffered a 30 minute outage, but not surprisingly this wasn’t due to the hoards of users attempting to find out their daily dose of news on Bing. It was down to a ‘configuration change’ while testing.
Bing disappeared completely from the Internet on December 3rd (as we’re sure you’re aware because you were no doubt on it at the time) producing an error message for anyone who tried to access it.
Satya Nadella, a senior VP at Microsoft, wrong on the Bing blog (yes, there is one) explaining the reasons for the error:
As soon as the issue was detected, the change was rolled back, which caused the site to return to normal behaviour.
News of Bing’s collapse was reported on Twitter within minutes, and sparked a response from one of Bing’s engineer’s, Tony Chor, stating how they were trying to restore Bing.
Not everyone who attempted to access Bing was greeted with an error message. Some people successfully logged on but found that their search queries weren’t being answered… and that was different how?