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Facebook Went Down Again, Along With Its Workplace Collaboration Tool

Users complained that the social media giant’s platform wasn’t functional on Monday, but services bounced back for some users a short time later.

Facebook and its Workplace collaboration tool suffered an outage Monday afternoon that has racked up thousands of complaints before services were restored for at least some users.

More than 2,000 complaints have been filed with since 12:52 p.m. EST, with a majority of them saying they were experiencing either a total blackout or login issues. By 1:30 p.m., services had been restored for some users, including this reporter.

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Within the short period, the hashtag #FacebookDOWN had been a top trending topic on Twitter.

The outage appeared to have an impact on Workplace, Facebook's collaboration tool that competes with Slack and Microsoft's Teams application. The company recently said it was separating Workplace from the main Facebook site in 2019 to ease customer concerns about security. In a statement to CRN, a Workplace spokesperson disputed the reason reported by CNBC for Workplace's move and said it "was done in an effort to give more customer trust in the product from a branding perspective — not security."

Raymond Tuchman, CEO of Experis Technology Group, a fast-growing Potomac, Md.-based HPE private cloud powerhouse with its 80,000 square-foot cloud services data center, said he was "shocked" by the Facebook outage.

"I would think that Facebook would have redundant systems that assure no part of the network goes down," he said. "Where was that redundancy? They should be able to lose a server or a data center and not even see a blip. They are supporting more than 2 billion users online. How could this happen?"

Tuchman says the outage shines the spotlight on the need for private, public and hybrid cloud architecture experts like Experis to advise customers on network architecture. "Where we shine as a company is architecting high availability systems for customers based on their requirements," he said. "Some companies can't be down for even a minute."

The decision on how much redundancy and what kind of architecture often comes down to a financial consideration, said Tuchman.

"We look at time to recovery objectives for our customers," said Tuchman. "If you are a law firm billing out 100 lawyers at $500 an hour. That is $50,000 an hour for every hour you are down."

The question for Facebook now becomes how much did they lose in advertising revenue from the outage, said Tuchman.

Tuchman says he is certain there will be a post-mortem at Facebook where they look into reasons for the outage and how they can prevent it from happening again. "They need to figure out what went wrong," he said.

Facebook suffered a similar outage in August. At the time, a Facebook spokesperson said the downtime was caused by a "a technical issue" that "caused some people to have trouble connecting to Facebook."

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 115 on the CRN SP500, previously told CRN he was not surprised that Facebook has not been responsive with regard to the outage given that the company faces little financial impact from the problems.

"I don’t think Facebook is going to learn a lesson from this given that at the end of the day there is not a big monetary impact on them," he had said. "This kind of outage highlights just how important the solution provider community is in properly architecting a solution from the ground up for our corporate and government customers."

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