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Welcome to The Outages Wiki!

Outage or downtime refers to a period of time or a percentage of a timespan that a system is unavailable or offline. This is usually a result of the system failing to function because of an unplanned event, or because of routine maintenance.

Our primary focus here at Outages tends to be Critical Internet Infrastructure such as IXPs, DNS root servers, major carriers, major data centers, carrier hotels, COs, and other related outages of scale, but other sorts of things -- telecom/BlackBerry problems, Twitter dying again, etc -- are certainly within our scope here as well. For years many have argued “what constitutes critical infrastructure”. A single clear cut definition has yet to be devised.

Infrastructure is constantly changing; a moving target, so to speak, and what's important to one may not be as important to others. You are welcome to adopt whatever definition of 'criticality' you like.

Ours, though, acknowledges that a lot of our subscribers run 'eyeball' networks, and want to know about outages which will generate lots of end-user calls to their support lines -- therefore, such outages are explicitly on-topic for our lists.

Contents

Mission Statement

The mission of the OUTAGES list is to have a central place to share information about planned and unplanned global outages, and to achieve consensus among private and government communities regarding awareness for the resiliency and stability of critical information infrastructure.

The OUTAGES list will pursue this mission in adherence to the following principles:

Collaboration - Cooperation & participation is one of the key things that we are aiming to achieve with a broad base of representation. Outages list is represented by the operator community for public interest.

Open process - Any interested person can participate in the work, make his or her voice heard. Part of this principle is our commitment to making network operator community aware regarding major service impacting due to outages. Our mailing lists is publicly available on wiki page.

Volunteer Core - Our participants and our leadership are people who come to the OUTAGES forum because they want to do work that furthers the OUTAGES mission of being a "non-biased authoritative source for major outage reporting in the public interest".

Outage Resources

Outage response resources at the moment, in addition to our mailing lists, include our Dashboard of links to network- and site-status websites, a list of network maps, power outage maps, a page with links to many different types of network tools, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope.

There's also a page for links to lessons learned postings about major outages, and one with links to backgrounders. Finally, we have a list of links to network ops group websites.

And most importantly, a few tips on How To Report A Problem.

About Mailing Lists

The primary goal of the mailing list ("outages@") is for reporting of observed failures of major critical internet infrastructure components having significant traffic-carrying capacity, similar to what FCC provided prior to 9/11 days, though they seem to have pulled back due to terrorism concerns. Some believe that LEC's and IXC's also like this model as they no longer have to air their dirty laundry. This mailing list, though, is not about making anyone look bad -- it's all about information sharing and keeping network operators & end users abreast of the situation with as close to real-time information as possible, so they can assess and respond to major outages, such as by routing voice/data via different carriers which may directly or indirectly impact us and our customers. A reliable communications network is essential in times of crisis.

The purpose of this list is to have a central place to check--and report to--so that end users & network operators know why their services (e-mail, phones, etc) went down: eliminating the need to open tons of trouble tickets during a major event. One master ticket - such as "fiber cut affecting xxx OC48's in GA" would suffice. We hope that network service providers, carriers and network operators around the globe will see the benefit to posting such events so that everyone could benefit from it -- including themselves.

Collaboration and participation is one of the key things that we are aiming to achieve, with a broad base of representation.

Please ensure you observe the Outages Code of Conduct at all times.

Outages Mailing Lists

We operate 3 lists locally; they're Mailman lists, and you can click on these links to sign up:

Please subscribe to the mailing list before sending a message to it, because only subscribers can be allowed to post messages on the list in the current configuration.

outages@outages.org - Warnings of (un)planned outages and reports of observed current outages

outages-discussion@outages.org - Discussion about post outages (troubleshooting, analysis, post-mortem, etc).

outages-announce@outages.org - Change management and future updates related to the lists.

Currently the first two lists are unmoderated as we would like everyone to timely benefit from such reporting. The inclusion of 'commercial content' is assumed to be inappropriate, unless the group discussion develops a desire to hear about product features.

Acknowledgments

First, thanks must go to the companies and individuals for providing hardware, hosting space and their invaluable time for outages.org

  • Jared and puck.nether.net for hosting the mailing list.

Many thanks to volunteers, network operators and the community as a whole for all their ongoing contributions, your continued support is invaluable to us!

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