Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).
Foursquare just posted on its blog explaining – and apologizing – for yesterday’s 11 hours of downtime.
The post, entitled “So, that was a bummer,” is very apologetic, saying, “We know how frustrating this was for all of you because many of you told us how much you’ve come to rely on foursquare when you’re out and about. For the 32 of us working here, that’s quite humbling. We’re really sorry,” Foursquare then goes onto explaining what happened yesterday.
Basically, Foursquare says that “disproportionate share of check-ins” were being written to a “shard” of its database, and in an attempt to balance the load, Foursquare’s developers added another “shard” – unfortunetly (and Foursquare still doesn’t exactly know why) this then proceeded to bring down the entire site.
Foursquare then goes into more technical detail, and if you’re interested, you can read the post. Of important note, Foursquare says that no data was lost as a result of any of the downtime or fixes.
However, the post concludes that, “We have a number of improvements we’ll be making in the coming weeks, and we’ll detail those in a future post,” which includes the launching of status.foursquare.com in addition to tweets from @4sqsupport which will then be retweeted by @foursquare with hourly updates (at least), with a more dynamic status page.
Good to see that Foursquare is taking an active approach to this, and for a company with exploding growth and only 32 employees, this messaging is often hard, when the first reaction is always to simply “just get it fixed” as soon as possible.
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