Slack Slips Up with Major Outage

Slack leaves millions of remote workers in a spin

Slack Slips Up with Major Outage

Figuring out how to remain productive at home with screaming kids and barking dogs to worry about is hard enough at the best of times. When your team collaboration tool goes kaput on top of everything else, it’s enough to leave many home-workers pulling their hair out.

Yesterday, on the 12th of May 2020, Slack stopped working at around 7:30 PM ET. DownDetector.com reported a massive increase in issues, with many users unable to access the app at all. If your messages could get through to the person you were trying to talk to, they weren’t being marked as read. Both the mobile and desktop versions of the app stuttered, leaving many teams in a state of sheer panic.

Slack’s status website confirmed the outage. The company said that users had reported general performance issues, such as message sending timeouts and failures. Slack also claimed that its team was working flat-out to get the app running properly again as quickly as possible.

So, What Happened to Slack?

Slack didn’t disclose the cause of the issue, but just after 8 pm ET, the company provided a quick update to its status page, saying that users weren’t able to connect with Slack and that they would provide an update on the fix shortly.

The scope of the issue seemed to be quite broad, with DownDetector reporting that the outage had affected the West Coast particularly hard. At around 8:45 pm ET, Slack released another update, saying that “some” customers would be seeing improvements, but the matter was still under investigation. It wasn’t until 10:26 pm ET that Slack finally announced that the service was fully restored.

The Slack team encouraged any customers that were still facing problems to contact them at feedback@Slack.com, and said that they were “very sorry” for the inconvenience.

Not a Great Time for an Outage

Slack and similar apps going down isn’t a great experience at the best of times. However, now that countless people are working from home and relying on these tools to stay connected, the outage was particularly problematic. Some companies were forced to return to email while the problems continued, while others took to Twitter to complain that they weren’t getting work done.

Of course, Slack isn’t the only company that has had problems coping with the influx of new remote workers lately. We’ve already reported on several problems faced by similar solutions from Microsoft Teams and Zoom too.

In this complicated time, it’s no surprise that we’re facing a few software slip-ups.

Got a comment?

1 Comment
AvatarVenkat Kandhari 06:39, 14 May 2020

That’s true. Outages cause impact and that too when everyone is working from home the impact is even severe. During these unprecedented times, The collaboration tools have become lifeline. That said, no one ever imagined that 100% work force will work from home. The vendors have done an amazing job, but since the solution though designed but was never tested with such a massive real volume, we can expect these outages.

Every outage followed by a fix will make the solution more robust and resilient, likewise, all the feedback coming out from users everyday make these solutions more usable, appealing and secure

Regards,
Venkat

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