For many of us who wanted to use Twitter earlier today, we were met with not even so much as a failwhale. Twitter says that a system and its backup both failed today, causing the outage:

“Data centers are designed to be redundant: when one system fails (as everything does at one time or another), a parallel system takes over. What was noteworthy about today’s outage was the coincidental failure of two parallel systems at nearly the same time.”

It’s interesting to see, in the wake of the news that Twitter had partially revoked API access to Instagram, the company’s own systems fail. One would think that, at this level of business and funding, the company would be nearly immune to outages of this sort. It’s worth noting that Facebook, probably the closest company that anyone could call competition, has built its own infrastructure to ensure other-worldly up times.

The question that users (and investors) will want to know is which systems failed and why. Ultimately, however, it’s a matter of making sure that an outage of this magnitude doesn’t happen again.

Want to take a walk down no-memory lane? Here’s Twitter’s old timeline, still visible.

Image: GoonSquadSarah via Flickr