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Slack Suffers Global Disruption for Several Hours

While most of Asia had finished their workday, the rest of the world were just beginning their first day back to work in 2021. Be it working remotely at home or at the office, everyone was all geared up to start their day.

However, employees soon found themselves having a problem. Slack, the messaging service used by millions of employees, suffered a global outage. Messages could not be sent and employees found themselves unable to communicate with their office colleagues.

The outage began around 6:00 am pacific standard time and disrupted services in the US, Germany, India, the UK, Japan and other parts of the world as the day went on. Here in Malaysia, it was late at night when we tried sending out messages on Slack, which also seem to have failed.

Slack was quick to update their users via its Twitter account, asking them to check its status sites for updates. The downtime lasted for at least four hours before services resumed. Slack also said that they are investigating the issue and will soon update users with a summary of the problem that occurred. This is not the first time Slack has experienced an outage, with the last one occurring in 2019.

In an updated summary of the incident, Slack stated that they discovered some customers were stuck on a webpage in the Slack desktop app. This is a separate bug that’s being investigated but was heightened during the outage. 

The summary also stated that Slack had an issue with their provisioning service and began provisioning healthy servers to address traffic requests. Slack is now working alongside their cloud vendors to fully understand the underlying causes of the outage and putting safeguards in place to prevent similar problems from happening again.

Launched in 2013, the chat service became an omnipresent tool for workplaces, with more than 12 million users as of 2020. Slack is also currently in the process of being acquired by Salesforce in a deal worth US$ 27.7 billion.
While outages are common, the service disruption at Slack serves as a clear reminder that systems can still be vulnerable, despite the efforts taken to ensure no downtime occurs.

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