Skype Outage Article

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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Skype Outage Article

Jon Arnold and I were both quoted recently in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled Skype reveals outage source, tells customers it won't happen again. The article is extremely well-written, gets perspective from a number of people and weaves each viewpoint into a cohesive whole.
 
My quote follows below:
 
The technology relies on user computers to route phone calls and handle some of the call authentication. There are thousands of computers and servers that are tapped to act as these supernodes in the Skype network.
 
That reliance has allowed Skype, owned by San Jose's eBay, to keep phone calls free between members and extremely cheap for calls to nonsubscribers. But an outage like last week's reveals the inherent vulnerability in the system when a large number of computers are affected within a short span of time, said Rich Tehrani, chairman of the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo and president of TMC, a communications and technology media company.
 
"The fate of the users is not in the control of one company, and that's the problem," Tehrani said. "There is a reliance on computers that can be rebooted by any number of software systems. When you have a situation when you're relying on computers that are not your own to keep the network up and running, you're at their mercy."
 
I should point out that in prior writings about the Skype outage I have mentioned the fact that the company has had an excellent track record of reliability. Furthermore, while there are potential problems in p2p networks, so far the record has been fairly good.
 
When you consider the pace of software innovation and the new features Skype continues to add to its service it is amazing just how stable the service has been. Sure the PSTN is more stable but we get a new features on the PSTN every 10 years while on Skype it seems like we get a few every month.
 
Here is Jon Arnold’s quote:
 
"As soon as people start to pay for this, they have expectations about quality, security and scalability," said Jon Arnold, an analyst with J. Arnold and Associates. "If a business is more dependent on Skype, you need to have confidence this won't happen again. You have to have higher standards and quality-control mechanisms."
 
Thanks to the San Francisco Chronicle for the opportunity to share my views and thanks to Ryan Kim for writing a great article.


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