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Skype usage picking up after global disruption

Skype users reportedly are quickly coming back online today after a “supernode” software problem caused a major global service outage yesterday that affected roughly several million Skype users worldwide, according to a Skype blog post.

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The supernodes hold Skype directory information, and Skype engineers’ initial resolution to the problem was to create “mega-supernodes” to handle greater amounts of calling traffic. A glut of holiday-related calling may have had something to do with the outage, though Skype did not provide details to that effect.

Published reports have suggested that at least 20 million concurrent Skype users were affected by the outage, and that it affected some users for at least 12 hours. Skype said this morning that about 10 million users were back online concurrently. The company said just last month that the service had reached a new record by supporting 25 million concurrent users, and the Skype website currently claims that 23 million people worldwide use the service during peak hours.

The Skype service, like similar VoIP services, has suffered occasional small-scale outages and disruptions over the years. This week’s outage is believed to be the most extensive Skype disruption since August 2007.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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