Updated: Skype'S VOIP service is still out for more than one-third of its expected users more than 24 hours after a massive failure to the service's supernodes struck Dec. 22.
Skype Dec. 23 said its service remains out for some 40 percent of
its users a full day after a massive failure of its peer-to-peer
computer system caused the VOIP service to deny or drop calls.
Nearly 24 hours after several computers in its P2P network went offline, Skype appears to be restoring service rapidly after suffering
an unspecified "software issue."
Skype Chief Blogger Peter Parkes said
around 7 a.m. EST that while there are roughly 5 million people online,
it was only around 30 percent of what the company would expect at that
By 9 a.m. EST, Parkes said in an update, that number had doubled to
more than 10 million, or 60 percent of total users Skype typically sees
online then. That means Skype remains unavailable for about 40 percent
"Unfortunately, it's not possible for us to predict on an individual
level when you'll be able to sign in again, and we thank you for your
patience in the meantime," Parkes added.
Parkes said that while Skype Manager, group video calling and other
Web-based tools remain offline and instant messaging and online status
are slow, the company's Skype Connect enterprise product is working
Updated 1:50 EST:
Skype CEO Tony Bates said
16.5 million users, or roughly 80 percent of normally expected users, are now back on Skype. IM, audio and video are restored, but it will take longer to bring offline IM and group video calling back online.
Skype, used by millions of users to make free or low-cost long-distance calls from their PCs and phones, began failing
for users around 11 a.m. EST Dec. 22.
Parkes said that after the company engineers noticed that the number
of users online fell, it found that its "supernodes" had failed.
Supernodes are end users' computer linked by Skype's P2P software, acting like virtual phone directories. Skype employs millions of connections between supernodes and phones.
When a user clicks to place a call on Skype and the app can't locate
a user's computer or phone, it will attempt to ping a supernode to
connect the call. When the supernodes conked out, millions of people
were unable to make calls.
Dan York, director of conversations at Voxeo, provided a detailed explanation of supernodes on his DisruptiveTechnology blog here
for those interested in Skype's network architecture.
"We're working hard to restore full functionality to the Skype
software, and hope to have more information to share soon," Parkes
Users may follow Skype updates here
on the service's Twitter account.