DNS Issues With Network Solutions Causing Outages

networksolutionslogoNetwork Solutions, a registrar for domain names, is having some sort of outage today which is causing their DNS not to resolve. Anyone that has their domain registered with Network Solutions may be experiencing issues with access to their site. This is impacting some of our clients as well as many other sites across the internet.

What is DNS and why is this happening. DNS = Domain Name Server. Basically it is the listing that tells browsers like Internet Explorer or Firefox where the domain is located. Just image when you need to know what number to dial when you want to order a pizza, you would go to the phone book and look up Joe’s Pizza. Now imagine that for some reason half the pages were missing from the phone book, or you couldn’t find the phone book at all.  The Phone Book is the  DNS in this situation.

Bottom line if your domain name is registered through Network Solutions, and you are using their DNS Servers for your domain, your website and email may be down or intermittently available until the problem is resolved.

The company experienced a similar problem last July that they blamed on hacking, or a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. With such an attack hackers direct thousands of computers to hit the website all at once, which then overwhelms the server.

“Unfortunately, cybercrime is a persistent threat in today’s world. Despite our best efforts, no one is immune–including large providers like Network Solutions,” the company said on Facebook.

I guess we will have to wait and see if this is the scenario this time.

Black Friday Mobile Sales Up 128% – Is Your Site Mobile Optimized?

According to a study by Branding Brand mobile,  in 2012 sales saw an increase of 128% on Black Friday compared to 2011.

This shows that mobile is definitely here to stay.  This number isn’t about mobile visits, but sales, so these stats could have a direct effect on your bottom line.  The study only looks at mobile sites and not desktop optimized sites.

While most industry reports capture overall mobile usage, a true chasm of analytical performance data exists between how people use mobilized and non-mobilized websites. Lumping both formats together in the same report skews usage data, since engagement is much higher on mobilized sites when there’s no need constantly pinch and zoom,” noted the co-founder and CEO. “We are finding that, if you build a mobile site, the mobile dollars are coming much faster.”

Data was used from 66 mobile sites and showed the following data.

  • Mobile Visits were up 101%
  • Mobile accounted for more than 20% of total e-commerce traffic
  • Mobile sales increased 128%

Even if your site is not an e-commerce site, you still need to have a site optimized for mobile devices.  On October 1, 2012 comScore reported  that Mobile Phones and Tablets Now Account for 1 in 8 U.S. Internet Page Views.


comscore Traffic Share Data September 2012

So the big question you need to ask:

Do you have a mobile optimization site in place?

If you don’t, when will you?
2013 will surely see further increases in smartphone and tablet usage.


Google Offers Virtual Tours of Its Data Centers

Google has recently opened the doors (virtually of course) to it’s infamous data centers. Now you can see where your bits, bytes and gigabytes are traveling when you search for something on Google.com, watch a YouTube Video or send an email through Gmail.
From the virtual tour:

When you’re on a Google website (like right now), you’re accessing one of the most powerful server networks in the known Universe. But what does that actually look like? Here’s your chance to see inside what we’re calling the physical Internet.

The virtual tours were unveiled on Wednesday and feature images from Google’s data centers in the United States, Finland, and Belgium. Later Google’s Street View will share virtual tours through their data center in North Carolina.

This is a great chance to see what’s behind Google’s  curtain and whoever coined the analogy that the internet is series of pipes.. Well guess what, at Google it is!

Check it out! Google Data Centers

Google Data Center Pipes

Awesome Google I/O Project Glass Demo

This was definitely a great product demo! A jump from a Zeppelin, mt. biking across a roof top with a jump, repelling down a building and mt. biking to the stage.  There was so much that could have gone wrong, but it went quite smoothly. Great work Sergey!

Do you think you’ll buy Google Glasses?

Elaborate Tools Are Great, But It’s The Skills That Make Us Pros

Can good tools make you better? Sure, but don’t forget it’s the skills that make you a pro. Watch the video for a great example of this.

What skills do you have that make you a pro?


The Internet in 60 Seconds

60 seconds may not seem like much time at all, but look at what happens online every 60 seconds.

the internet in 60 seconds

A Scathing Article About Apple, Google and EBay – But is it Wrong?

apple logoI just read an article over on the Forbes.com site titled: Why Apple, Google And EBay Will Slash And Burn Investors. At first glance you might think it is just a bit of sensationalism intended to get pageviews. OK, maybe the title is, but then again you need a good title to get people interested.  Right?
After reading the article though, the question comes to mind, “Are they wrong?” My gut tells me no.google logo Technology and innovation continue to advance at breakneck speeds and if a companies get caught sleeping and not innovating, they are doomed to fail.

Last week I spoke about social media and woman in the audience asked me, “What is your prediction for the future.” The best answer I could think of was, “without continued innovation the companies that are ebay logobig now will most likely be beaten by someone we’ve never heard of. I mean look at what happened to MySpace.” I had to laugh though, if I could predict the “next big thing,” I’d be a rich man!

In the end my best advice to Apple, Google, EBay, Facebook and all the innovative tech companies is: innovate or die.

Amazon Web Services Goes Down and Takes a Multitude of Sites With It

Amazon Webservices LogoEarly this morning Amazon Web Services started experiencing a problem in one of their data centers in Virginia. Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing service from Amazon.com. Many online platforms and services use Amazon’s service to host data for their online applications. It’s been reported that the outages were caused by a networking event. The issue is with their Elastic Block Storage or EBS. EBS is used for block level storage that is used in Amazon EC2 instances. Here’s a statement from Amazon:

“A networking event early this morning triggered a large amount of re-mirroring of EBS volumes in US-EAST-1,”

“This re-mirroring created a shortage of capacity in one of the US-EAST-1 Availability Zones, which impacted new EBS volume creation as well as the pace with which we could re-mirror and recover affected EBS volumes. Additionally, one of our internal control planes for EBS has become inundated such that it’s difficult to create new EBS volumes and EBS backed instances.”

“We are working as quickly as possible to add capacity to that one Availability Zone to speed up the re-mirroring, and working to restore the control plane issue,” Amazon continued. “We’re starting to see progress on these efforts, but are not there yet. We will continue to provide updates when we have them.”

There are a variety of services being disrupted. Here are a few where I’ve experienced outages or limited availability:


If you know of any others please add them in the comments.

Times Are Changing – It Really is a Digital Age

This is a bit old, but very interesting to see how much has changed in the last Decade. Look at how the cost of storage has dropped, the production of CDs was cut in half and iTunes dowloads have exploded.

Times a-Changin

Love These Commercials – Chrome Browse as Fast as You Think

Did you get all the sayings on the first go?