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back to article Cisco thanks customers after website outage

Cisco is keeping schtum on how exactly it contrived to down its own website worldwide for over two hours yesterday. Customers and other web browsers notice something was amiss yesterday morning UK time as the network giant's web presence completely evaporated, without any warning. A Cisco statement said: "Cisco can confirm that …

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Paris Hilton

Lost e-commerce?

Who buys kit direct from Cisco's website? Show of hands? Nobody? You get it through a distributor? Like everybody else?

Why would they have "lost e-commerce" because the website was down for 2 hours? They might have annoyed engineers needing the knowledge base or binaries, but it's unlikely sales were affected. You must be mixing up Cisco and Dixons.

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Linux

Networking Error

If they did a news release about a networking errror. Their share price would plummet.

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Anonymous Coward

DNS Typo?

If you do a DNS lookup for www.cisco.com you will find that it points through various levels of CNAME to an Akamai edge server. From here its e144.cd.akamaiedge.net. - your results may vary.

A single typo in the DNS pointing, perhaps, at a non-existant edge server cluster could have achieved the described outage.

Regards

Neil

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WTF?

lost commerce?

Distributor channel logical flaw aside, i don't quite understand these lost commerce calculations.

So would it be something like this?

I want to buy a Cisco 7000 series

shit! the website's down!

Oh well i'll get a Juniper instead

I mean, really?

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Stop

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

I reckon it was probably a flaw in their systems that will affect every piece of hardware out there and that's why they cannot release the details.

Hang on, I work in IT. That'd put me out of a job!

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Stop

Oh come on...

Fair enough, the site was down for 2hrs and they should have been able to bring it back up quicker than that - but that assumes they were aware of the issue immediately, which maybe wasn't the case.

Also, maybe the website is only supported from a single location (the US...?) rather than having a 'follow the sun' approach, so the 2hr delay was caused by the on-call person having to get called out, properly wake up, connect remotely, have a coffee, diagnose the problem, have another coffee, fix the issue and then have another coffee.

I'd say this would only impact anyone looking to download software not actually buy anything, so the damage is really to their reputation rather than their balance sheet.

Microsoft deserves its frequent bashing from El Reg... Cisco doesn't, so let's cut 'em some slack.

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Joke

Lost e-commerce 2

Customers generally buy from a distributor, as Anonymous Coward says, but even if distributors were ordering direct from the Cisco website I doubt they lost business through the outage; they may have got some annoyed calls asking why they couldn't deal with orders but at worst they'll have just delayed things a little...no beig deal there, really.

The biggest worry must be what this has to their reputation!

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can't protect against everything

"disaster recovery" planning is about getting running quickly again again a disaster (the clue's in the second word). No amount of DR planning is proof against the technician who unplugs the wrong server (or whatever happened here). We've all done it:

# halt

system halted

[heart stops]

AAargh, no, no, nooooo, in *this* window, not *that* window.... DON"T ANSWER THAT PHONE...

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Silver badge

People are human.

Humans make mistakes. Film at 11 ...

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Boffin

Lost sales

How many people rocking up to cisco.com intending to spend a few million on new high-capacity border routers found the site down, shrugged and said "Well, they must not want my money then! Oh well, better head for Vendor J instead"? None at all? Guess so.

Face it, when cisco.com (or oracle.com, microsoft.com, yadda yadda) goes down for an hour or two, it gives us a chuckle for a minute or two. It certainly doesn't damage the company. Same thing applies to security compromises - whisper it, despite the FUD from all the vendors, very very few companies suffer more than annoyance and inconvenience from a security breach. (The exceptions I'm aware of are CC processors who had their contracts revoked for flouting PCI standards, but consider for example TJX - comprehensively pwned, no damage at all to their reputation or trading status.

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They forgot to buy the extended support agreement.

Someone must have forgot to spend the extra $$$ to purchase Cisco's maintenance and support. They probably couldn't get anything fixed without it.

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Megaphone

#1 cause of outages is change

People making changes is the #1 cause of network outages, as confirmed by pretty much all IT research firms.

It shouldn't be a surprise that a single change caused this outage.

http://www.netcordia.com/solutions/automate-network-change.asp

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Cisco's sales pitch rings hollow

When you are buying in ones and twos then yes, you use a distributor. But when you are a big customer buying by the pallet the distributor just gets in the way. But a big customer's order isn't going to be put off by a two hour outage (assuming it isn't the last two hours of the financial year).

The problem for Cisco is one of perception. Cisco make a lot of money by telling people to build an all-Cisco network to get the ultimate in reliability, and when the prime example of an all-Cisco network goes down hard -- and obviously can't be easily rescued -- then that sales pitch starts to sound empty.

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