Added by Erik West on October 26, 2012
Internet users around the globe reported general internet slowdowns and outages, plus major websites like Tumblr and Dropbox were offline early on Friday.
“Users in Asia and North America are experiencing internet slowdowns and outages, according to data from Akami and The Internet Traffic Report. The underlying problems could be contributing to outages at Dropbox and Tumblr. The Google App Engine also appears to be down,” said a network analyst.
Akamai’s Realtime Web Monitor reported that internet-based attacks were 50% above normal, with the highest number of attacks within China. Akamai also indicated increases in internet-based attacks in Europe and the United States.
The Internet Traffic Report, a service that monitors the flow of internet traffic around the world, reported low traffic indexes for Asia – at 52%, North America – at 63%, and Europe – at 76% – a traffic index of 80% or more is considered to be normal.
A key measurement of internet traffic is ‘packet loss’ which measures the the reliability of a connection to the internet – connections become more sporadic as the packet loss increases as a result of an increase in the amount of traffic flowing around the internet increases.
“Zero packet loss is ideal with up to 20% considered acceptable. Some sites in Asia are reporting between 87% and 100% packet loss. North American packet losses are either 0% or 100% – there aren’t any numbers in between, so connections either work or they don’t, which is very unusual when seen across the continent,” added the network analyst.
“Internet users experience intermittent connection problems with high levels of packet loss and experience a complete loss of a connection to the internet with the packet loss is at or near 100%.”
Google App Engine a cloud computing service that is also experiencing outages that affect a broad range of users and websites, posted the following message in one of its forums, “At approximately 7:30am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services. We currently show that a majority of App Engine users and services are affected. Google engineering teams are investigating a number of options for restoring service as quickly as possible, and we will provide another update as information changes.”
There is some speculation the outage could be related to an explosive New York Times article about China’s Prime Minister Wen Jiabao who has reportedly amassed “assets worth at least $2.7 billion.” The Washington Post reported, “China’s censors move with unusual speed on Wen Jiabao revelation”
Akamai Technologies is an Internet content delivery network headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Akamai’s network is one of the world’s largest distributed-computing platforms. Akamai’s Realtime Web Monitor uses the company’s network to measure internet traffic.
The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of internet traffic around the world and provides up-to-date statistics on its website.