Twitter outage blamed on data center failure

In case you haven't already heard, Twitter was down for a little bit today. Twitter users trying to access the service got nothing for a short while earlier this morning, and while many suspected it had something to do with Twitter's current Olympics push, the truth is that the outage was actually caused by a problem at Twitter's data centers. Normally this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but this case is unique because, as VP of engineering Mazen Rawashdeh says, Twitter was hit with an "infrastructural double-whammy."

Normally when Twitter's data centers falls over, there's a parallel system running and ready to pick up the slack. This time, however, both the main data center and the backup system went down at nearly the same time, wiping Twitter from the Internet until the company's engineers could restore one of the systems. "I wish I could say that today's outage could be explained by the Olympics or even a cascading bug," Rawashdeh wrote in a blog post. "Instead, it was due to this infrastructural double-whammy. We are investing aggressively in our systems to avoid this situation in the future."

That cascading bug Rawashdeh mentions was responsible for the last Twitter outage, which happened just over a month ago. The timing of this crash was pretty bad too, as Twitter had been gearing up for tomorrow's kickoff of the 2012 Olympics. Despite today's hiccups however, things seem to be running just fine at the moment (and have been for a few hours now), so the world's millions and millions of Twitter users can feel free to take a collective sigh of relief.