FanPost

Recent A Sea of Blue outage postmortem (UPDATED)

UPDATE 03/07/2012: Confirmed with tech support that remaining outages are downstream DNS issues that are beyond the control of SB Nation's network. These will slowly resolve themselves over time, but I cannot give you an estimate of when your service will return if you have an interruption, that is dependent upon DNS propagation that is completely outside our control.

If you have interrupted service or any sort of unusual happenings, do let me know just in case it turns out to be something other than DNS. My email is aseaofblue (at) gmail.com

UPDATE 03/07/2012 11:12 EST: We are still experiencing outages and problems that are presumably related to this issue. I am riding Tech Support like Sea Biscuit trying to get it resolved.

Thanks for your patience.

First of all, my sincere regrets to those who were without access to the site at any time during the last 24 hours. As some of you know, I three time zones away from home right now, and although I was aware of the problem, I sent off a note to our tech group and just assumed it would be fixed in an hour or so as per normal.

What I did not know was the problem was caused by several downstream DNS servers. For those of you not familiar with how it works, the Internet is comprised of a bunch of machines with unique binary addresses. Because we humans don't read and write binary very well, we translate those numbers into what we call IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, which are represented as a string of numbers of the form XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX. You'll occasionally see numbers like that when you are using the Internet. Think of it as roughly equivalent to the coordinates of your house on a map.

Unfortunately, us humans don't process long strings of digits separated by periods very well, either, so the Internet designers came up with a system to make it easier for us. that system is known as DNS, or Domain Name Service. For practical purposes, what that service does is take a number like 23.145.222.002 and convert it to something we humans can process, like "ASeaofBlue.com.", much as map coordinates correspond to addresses like "1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20502." It does that by a simple database of entries for each number and each site human-readable name.

When something goes wrong with DNS, it takes a while for the changes to propagate throughout the Internet. That's the problem A Sea of Blue just experienced - a DNS issue that required 12-24 hours for the new information to reach all the name servers in all areas of the world. That's why some people could reach the site, and others, including yours truly, could not. The propagation of these number/name lists is uneven and depends on a number of factors beyond the scope of this article.

Long story short, I did not know until 30 minutes ago what the problem was due to a minor breakdown in communication with SB Nation technical support, equally my fault for not being able to stay on top of the matter. That has been resolved, communication lanes cleared, and understandings reached.

We at A Sea of Blue and SB Nation/Vox Media regret the service interruption and any inconvenience it caused, and are constantly working to improve our service to you, including our response to problems like this.

You may now return to your regularly-scheduled Kentucky Wildcats fandom.

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