Facebook’s Staggered Maintenance Procedure

Facebook has one of the world’s largest server farms and for good reason – with all that traffic no amount of servers can be considered too much. While Facebook’s uptime is a lot better than many most of the other “Web 2.0” services, we’ve been seeing a lot of maintenance-related downtime recently (see possible reasons below).

You’ve got to hand it to the Facebook team though, they have scaling and uptime perfected down to an art. For instance, when servers are due for updates, the maintenance is performed in a staggered manner, updating one set of servers at a time as attested to by the unavailability of certain Facebook accounts while others can still be accessed.

If your account is on one of he servers being serviced/maintained/upgraded, you’ll see a message like this:

Staggered Facebook

If you have another account or a friend nearby, it’s quite likely that a different login attempt will work just fine.

In our opinion, the latest wave of downtime for Facebook accounts is due to the upcoming “major overhaul” to the way Facebook profiles and pages are displayed and interacted with… at least, we hope that’s the reason; because it would royally suck if Facebook were to go the way of some other once-popular services that became victims of their own popularity and lack of scalability.

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