Unplanned Downtime

Our gnomes took an unscheduled vacation…

To our (super-awesome) TwitSprout Beta Team,

I wanted to let you know that TwitSprout experienced some unplanned downtime during Thursday July 14th and Friday July 15th.

What Happened?

Everything appeared calm on the surface, your private invite links continued to operate, dashboards were generated and our other sites remained live. However, behind the scenes, our data-gathering gnomes had gone on vacation.

in geek speak: We run our platform on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. It is a robust and scalable infrastructure, but not without its own hiccups on occasion. One of our data-hungry servers stalled, without warning. We are speaking with the Amazon team to identify a possible cause.

What Does This Mean?

This means we were not collecting data for approximately 48 hours (and as a great lover of data myself, it pains me to say this). Therefore, we are missing information for most of Thursday (July 14th) and most of Friday. As of Friday night (July 15th) we had all systems back up and running.

What To Watch For…

  1. Hourly Change in Followers (bottom left metric): You will notice that data for Thursday July 14th and Friday July 15th are not shown in the bar graph. Friday is shown in the legend and the number included is the total change in Followers across Thursday and Friday.
  2. Daily Tweets (bottom right metrics): Total tweets for Thursday July 14th are shown as zero on all accounts. Thursday’s tweets are included within the total for Friday July 15th.

Future Prevention

Our team has deployed data-fetching gnomes to every one of our servers. We also added something called ‘auto-scaling' (sounds impressive right?). Basically, this means that all of our systems work together to collect data. If one of the individual systems goes down or stalls, then another one is automatically created, in its exact image, to complete the job.

Now that’s awesome gnome teamwork!

We Are So Sorry

From the whole TwitSprout team, we are really sorry. This is not cool, we get that and feel terrible. We have been successfully tracking account data hourly for many months. This was the first hiccup in our system.

If you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email. You can simply respond to either your welcome email or official invite we sent you. All communications come straight to my inbox - and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

This, after all, is what a beta is for. We are confident that our new (and more cooperative) gnomes will ensure this does not occur again in the future.


Dan and the TwitSprout Team

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  • posted 16 July, 2011

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