Synthetic Monitoring

Simulate visitor interaction with your site to monitor the end user experience.

View Product Info


Simulate visitor interaction

Identify bottlenecks and speed up your website.

Learn More

Real User Monitoring

Enhance your site performance with data from actual site visitors

View Product Info


Real user insights in real time

Know how your site or web app is performing with real user insights

Learn More

Infrastructure Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Instant visibility into servers, virtual hosts, and containerized environments

View Infrastructure Monitoring Info
Comprehensive set of turnkey infrastructure integrations

Including dozens of AWS and Azure services, container orchestrations like Docker and Kubernetes, and more 

Learn More

Application Performance Monitoring Powered by SolarWinds AppOptics

Comprehensive, full-stack visibility, and troubleshooting

View Application Performance Monitoring Info
Complete visibility into application issues

Pinpoint the root cause down to a poor-performing line of code

Learn More

Log Management and Analytics Powered by SolarWinds Loggly

Integrated, cost-effective, hosted, and scalable full-stack, multi-source log management

 View Log Management and Analytics Info
Collect, search, and analyze log data

Quickly jump into the relevant logs to accelerate troubleshooting

Learn More

The day when the BBC’s web empire went down

The mighty Error 500 – Internal Error

Something very unexpected happened in March 14th this year. The public service broadcaster BBC suffered a major outage after its websites – including News, Sports and the iPlayer system – buckled in. An unknown number of people attempting to visit various online BBC services were greeted with messages such as “404 not found” or “Error 500”. With unconfirmed reports of a cyber attack, BBC staff and reporters immediately took to Twitter to broadcast what had occurred.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 14.01.50

Tweet storm followed

At 06:25, the BBC News UK tweeted this: “Apologies, as we are experiencing technical problems on the BBC News website. We are working hard to resolve the issues.” BBC technology reporter Dave Lee tweeted that the problem also affected the BBC’s internal systems. Of course, the storm of mean tweets followed and it’s clear that the need for uptime isn’t just about the ability to deliver your service. It’s also about saving face.

Skärmavbild 2015-03-17 kl. 15.01.42

Five hours to full recovery

Engineers worked hard to fix issues and return the website to its previous state. The networking issues left the BBC’s online services completely inaccessible for what must have been the longest hour in some BBC employees lives. And it took over five hours to fully recover.

“Our systems are designed to be sufficiently resilient (multiple systems and multiple data centers) to make an outage like this extremely unlikely”, said Richard Cooper, Controller Digital Distribution & Operations. “However, I’m afraid that last night we suffered multiple failures, with the result that the whole site went down.” Cooper highlighted both the aggregation of network traffic from the BBC’s hosting centers to the Internet and the announcement of routes onto the Internet that allows BBC Online to be found.

Siemens, the BBC’s IT contractor that handles its infrastructure network, remotely powered down equipment at a second Internet connection at Telehouse Docklands. This got things back up and running again. Then they isolated the core router in Telehouse Docklands and restored power to it. Once power was restored and the router was running in a satisfactory way, they reconnected to the Internet and BBC networks in a controlled manner.

Investigating the root cause of any incident is paramount

A routing issue, such as the one experienced by the BBC, affects how user requests are delivered to the website. Firstly, traffic isn’t being adequately routed from your hosting servers to the rest of the Internet. Secondly, DNS servers becomes affected, meaning the link between your website and its domains isn’t performing as they should. The critical part of any company’s infrastructure, the traffic managers responsible for handling all requests to the site and routing those requests to the right servers, should of course be designed to be highly reliable. You can, of course, also rely on Pingdom.

“The need for uptime isn’t just about the ability to deliver your service. It’s also about saving face.”

Pingdom’s probe servers connect to your site or server from outside your local network. When one of our probe servers can’t connect, another probe server will automatically try to make the same connection to get a second opinion. Your check will only be marked as confirmed down if the second test also fails. That presents you with two different trace routes to compare. You can track all network hops between our probe servers and the website that you monitor, so you can identify any problems with your hosting provider. The Root Cause Analysis helps you to find out what caused any outage. You get detailed information when the outage occurred and what triggered the analysis. For instance, you’ll find out if there’s a status code error, network congestion or slow load time.


Faulty switch?

It’s still unclear if the BBC’s problem was an internal technical inaccuracy or the result of a Distributed Denial of Service attack. Further investigations are ongoing to identify the root cause of this fault.


Introduction to Observability

These days, systems and applications evolve at a rapid pace. This makes analyzi [...]

Webpages Are Getting Larger Every Year, and Here’s Why it Matters

Last updated: February 29, 2024 Average size of a webpage matters because it [...]

A Beginner’s Guide to Using CDNs

Last updated: February 28, 2024 Websites have become larger and more complex [...]

The Five Most Common HTTP Errors According to Google

Last updated: February 28, 2024 Sometimes when you try to visit a web page, [...]

Page Load Time vs. Response Time – What Is the Difference?

Last updated: February 28, 2024 Page load time and response time are key met [...]

Monitor your website’s uptime and performance

With Pingdom's website monitoring you are always the first to know when your site is in trouble, and as a result you are making the Internet faster and more reliable. Nice, huh?



Gain availability and performance insights with Pingdom – a comprehensive web application performance and digital experience monitoring tool.

Start monitoring for free