Re: eBay's hot potato toss with tail between legs

Steve Dossick (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:38:47 -0400

Given that one of the features of the high-end sun hardware they have (and
an available option on Oracle) is true server clustering/redundancy, why
didn't they just buy an identical machine and have it running as a hot
spare? God knows they have the $$.

Hell, even the CS Dept. here has _multiple_ servers, and we really have no


--On Friday, June 18, 1999, 7:58 AM -0400 Sally Khudairi <>

> Again, from Online Reporter.
> Interesting that eBay was able to command *55* Sun/Oracle/Veritas
> engineers onsite to help, and the Solaris-StarFire cocktail hasn't been
> cleared of the blame.
> 55 engineers! That just blows me away.
> OR 152-18 No Sales, No Views, No Server
> Prolonged outages at online auctioneer eBay have left its members
> howling and the red-faced company scurrying for fixes. After the
> latest outage, the company now admits it hasn't lived up to its
> members' expectations and claims to "have taken a serious look at
> our priorities." In a joint letter of apology addressed to eBay
> members, CEO Meg Whitman and founder Pierre Omidyar said: "We just
> want to make it work." The company promised to refund all fees for
> all active auctions from June 9-11, a number that's been estimated
> to run into the millions of dollars. On Monday, eBay was down nearly
> 30 points, or 18%, to 136. By Thursday, it rebounded, closing at
> 146 3/4.
> eBay blamed the outage on problems with the Solaris operating system
> on the Sun Star-fire servers. An eBay spokesman said 55 engineers
> from Sun, Oracle and Veritas had rushed to the site to fix the
> problem. He said tests had revealed no problems with either Oracle's
> or Veritas' software. The eBay spokesman said the company had
> isolated a massive corruption of the data system but was still
> looking "under the hood" to get a full report.
> eBay said it plans to accelerate the process of hiring more
> engineering staff and also bring in a "higher-than-mid-management"
> person in engineering suggesting there could be changes in the role
> of Michael Wilson, eBay's SVP of product development and site
> operations. But the company's spokesman declined to provide any
> specifics.