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Twitter apologizes, blames data center failures for outage

The company said that a coincidental failure of two parallel data center system left people without the micro-blogging service.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
Twitter is back up now. Screenshot by Dan Farber/CNET

Twitter blamed an "infrastructural double-whammy" of two data center failures on the outage that left millions without the micro-blogging service for hours today.

Twitter's site went down between 8:20 a.m. and 9 a.m. PT and was out for about two hours before the company had the service back up and running.

Typically, if one data center goes down, there's another one in place for emergencies and redundancy. But the company said in a blog posting that the parallel systems went down at nearly the same time.

"I wish I could say that today's outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug," the company said in its post. "Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future."

As a younger company, Twitter suffered from frequent outages caused by its explosive growth. Over the last couple of years, however, most of those outages have subsided, save for a few brief outages from time to time.

Twitter suffered an outage last month that left its site unresponsive for about an hour. The company said that the issue was caused by a "cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components," but provided no further details.

The outage followed a similar hiccup with Google's chat service, Google Talk, which was briefly down earlier this morning.