AddToAny Blog

Some unprecedented downtime last weekend

December 14th, 2010

Last weekend, from Dec. 11th to the 12th, AddToAny’s static content was unavailable due to our then-CDN getting sabotaged by two upstream providers. To be clear, users were still able to share through, but AddToAny’s static content such as hosted buttons and sharing script were unavailable. We are deeply sorry for any and all unintended consequences that this caused publishers. SimpleCDN, and all of SimpleCDN’s customers including AddToAny were innocent parties in, as we understand it so far, a sudden and unexpected termination of SimpleCDN’s contract by their upstream providers (namely, by a company called SoftLayer).

The slowness and downtime checks we have in place were immediately triggered on the first downtime event, then we spent the weekend ensuring a successful migration of AddToAny assets over to a new CDN, which was a three-party collaborative effort between AddToAny and the CDNs. We were able to switch CDNs within hours, but it took longer than expected to get some services back online. For HTTPS, which some publishers use, we waited far too long for our CDNs to reprovision our SSL certificate, but HTTPS was fully functional by Sunday night PST.

Nothing like this has happened since AddToAny first went online in March 2006. Very rarely if ever does a Content Delivery Network disappear overnight without notice. Such an occurrence is truly unprecedented and we’d like to offer ways to mitigate the fallout effects of this sort of doomsday event. We don’t expect something like this to happen again in the future, but we want to promote preventative measures and let publishers know that we’ll be taking some more industry-firsts ourselves.

One key advanced feature we’ve offered for some time is asynchronous script loading. To explain the power of this feature, publishers that were using AddToAny’s script asynchronously were unaffected by our script’s downtime over the weekend. Publishers using our popular Drupal sharing module were also unaffected thanks to asynchronous loading. If you’re comfortable with code, we definitely recommend implementing AddToAny in an asynchronous way.

Again, we are very sorry for any slowness this caused your sites. Please contact us if you have any questions at all about the downtime, or for advice on taking relatively easy preventative measures. Thanks for the reports, your patience, and for your understanding during what was a very unfortunate weekend for all of us.