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eBay Inc. Message Board

  • baby_gravy00 baby_gravy00 May 10, 2005 9:14 PM Flag

    ***A Message from Bill Cobb***

    ***A Message from Bill Cobb***
    Date: 05/10/05 Time: 03:07:00 PM PDT

    To Our Community:
    To put it mildly, yesterday evening was not a pretty time on eBay�

    Last night eBay�s global marketplace was affected by a power outage at our primary hosting provider�s facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. As if that wasn�t enough, in a completely unrelated incident, the PayPal site went down between 9:13 pm and 9:41 pm Pacific time. On behalf of everyone at eBay and PayPal, I want to apologize for both incidents and give an update on what happened as well as what we�re doing to minimize the impact of these events on our Community.

    Regarding the eBay outage, our hosting facility�s power was disrupted for about an hour and a half, starting at 7:33 pm Pacific time. This power interruption caused the eBay outage. Immediately following the outage, eBay�s operations team focused on two priorities: working with our partner to restore power as quickly as possible, and activating our failover system. Before our failover system was operational, power returned to the primary system and we immediately began restoring listings and site functions.

    eBay�s category structure is randomly distributed across 21 databases to manage eBay�s large amount of inventory. Depending on which database hosted your listing, it was impacted in one of two ways:

    Access to the first group of listings was restored at 9:15 pm � listings scheduled to close between 7:33 pm and 11:15 pm (the outage period plus a two-hour courtesy window) will be credited all fees.

    The second group was restored at 10:10 pm � the listings in this group that were scheduled to close from 7:33 pm to 12:10 am this morning (the outage period plus a two-hour courtesy window) have been extended for 24 hours, with all fees credited.
    While the ability to view and bid on the first group of listings was interrupted by the outage, the listings themselves continued as scheduled and unfortunately, we�re unable to extend live listings without causing further disruption to those items. In keeping with eBay�s outage policy, we credited all fees.

    The second group of listings was simply down during the outage period. We were able to extend these listings by 24 hours and credit fees in accordance with our outage policy.

    The PayPal incident was caused by a hardware failure in our Denver data center. PayPal�s backup systems took over as they were designed to do, and the site was functioning normally after a brief disruption.

    We understand that any site interruption impacts you and again, we sincerely apologize. While we believe eBay and PayPal have the best people and technology available, the fact is that sometimes events take place that are beyond our control. Rest assured we are reviewing both situations and working to continually improve our emergency processes.

    We�re all working to come up with ways to make up for letting you down yesterday. Stay tuned.

    As always, please feel free to email me at


    Bill Cobb
    eBay North America

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    • But to Bill Cobb you were able to get on the site in one and a half hours if you used the URL instead of the link.(wonder how many people thought of trying that)The fact that you couldn't do a damn thing once you got there is beside the point. You were on site so they weren't technically down according to a lawyers definition.

    • As I understood it, it was the power outage itself that was about an hour, but you know how things get garbled in the telling, and you are right, enough, or we will cause ourselves undue ennui, when there is bidding to do! :)

    • Hmm, I'm confused, where does it say an hour? If you read my last post, eBay is admitting to more than that, aren't they? And the posts I gave for this board show more than that for the site to even begin to come back. Sorry if I am missing something, doing some multi-tasking here.

      >>>>Well, once more I repeat: eBay should not rely on any server or network of servers at all.>>>>>

      Do you know what you are asking here? For eBay to go into an entirely different business? It would be a bit like your customers asking you to become a long distance phone company because they couldn't get through on the phone one day. EVEN if they could do that for a local area, or even a state, at what point does another network take over? I don't think I can explain it any better than to say, take a look at what Qwest does. You might as well ask me to become my own car mechanic. :) Well okay, that would be MUCH worse. hehe

      Hey, and I'm glad you won that auction! :)

    • I think if you look at Bill Cobb's message he agreed with you in saying it started at 7:33 and the final data base wasn't restored until 10:10.

      That also agrees with the posts on this board and on boards on eBay.

      They also added a two hour courtesy window.

    • I think this is a bit more like when your ISP's power fails when you are in the middle of something on your computer. THEY have to work on the problem on their end first, and then you have to try to restore data you have lost, and reboot your own system.

    • Ebay could have a hundred power sources and they all don't need to fail in fact none of them do. All that needs to fail is the main power hookup, if that line fries a new one must be installed. That takes time! I've seen what happens when a 14,700 volt line burns, it's more like EXPLODES!!!

      It left two dead in the vault and all the walls and floor were black/burnt.

    • I didn't mean to imply you were lying at all. I'm just saying that your case wasn't typical. I was in touch with quite a number of people checking in different parts of the country, and our downtime corresponded to what they said pretty closely. What that means to me is that those who had problems longer were probably going through routes equally affected by the power outage for a longer period of time. You might have even run into some of those short outages we all see when a storm strikes before we lose power for good.

      >>>>If eBay relies on ANY service provider in that matter, not only I don't believe it possible I would consider it a total aberration. I am 100% sure eBay has alternative power sources way beyond those provided by its host providers..>>>>>>

      Okay, I see where the misunderstanding here is. The service provider we are talking about is not PG&E, it is a server or network that provides internet lines for eBay, not electricity. THEIR power went out and clearly their backups failed. Whether that was power, or something the lack of power caused to break, I don't know. But not something eBay could really foresee. Things do break, and sometimes they are at eBay. I'm saying when it IS at eBay, they will say so, and have many times before. This time, eBay itself was back up very fast from what I could see, but the data was not getting out.

      I know there is little more frustrating than trying over and over to get through. I'm just trying to clarify that it seems to me they did all they could do.

    • I tell it like it is when it comes to Ebay.

      They were down for just over 3 hours.

      To me down means I can't bid!

      That was my experience, others might have had less or more down time.

    • no. i dont know you. are you the tool guy?

    • It is if you don't read the posts. I'm just a regular guy selling on Ebay.

      I'm not a stock genius and don't invest in them.

      I'm a true Ebayer through and through.

      I'm also a father and a husband.

      You know who I am, everyone here does.

      No matter what name I choose I'm still the same guy.

      "Mr. Bill Cobb is Cool" I hope to have a sit down talk with him at Ebay Live.

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