The Revolt of the Peers: Skype skips a beat

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2007-08-23 Email Print this article Print

When all else fails, blame it on the algorithm. Skype had a major service outage recently. But aren't systems that run on peer to peer architectures supposed to be able to avoid a big crash as networks of peers provide many alternative avenues for data to travel and many individual peers to take up the computing burden when other peers fail? Skype officials, while taking the blame, pointed to a large number of supernodes (hey, are some peers really more equal than others) that became unavailable as they rebooted following Microsoft upgrades and patching.

While quick to claim that Microsoft was not a culprit, the Skype spokesfolks were equally quick to claim that, yes, the villain had been found and wouldn't you know it, it was the algorithm.

"The Microsoft team was fantastic to work with, and after going through the potential causes, it appeared clearer than ever to us that our software's P2P network management algorithm was not tuned to take into account a combination of high load and supernode rebooting." stated the Skype spokesperson.

I think when eBay bought Skype they bought a revolutionary digital voice over IP system. Unfortunately all the leaders of the revolution soon left. I'd expect more busy signals from Skype. |

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