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Old 01-13-2009, 02:26 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #1
MikeBlaszczak
 
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Steam Downtime Announcements

I'm going to try a bit of an experiment to announce downtime for planned Steam maintenance, when it's possible to do so. You can subscribe to this thread to be sure that you'll see such announcements.

This thread is locked. If you have questions about downtime announcements, please use the discussion thread.

Last edited by Modiga-Disabled: 01-14-2009 at 11:46 AM. Reason: Fixed link
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:26 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #2
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Quote:
Why don't you guys schedule downtime in the mornings? Seems kind of silly to schedule downtime right in the middle of the peak usage period (e.g. 9pm).
There's several different reasons. First, some downtime isn't planned. If we have a hardware failure, a problem with the network, or a problem with our point-of-presence provider, the event is unexpected and we can't schedule it. It happens when it happens.

When downtime is scheduled, we try to perform the activity during business hours at our office in the Pacific time zone (in the United States). This way, as many team members as possible are available to help with issues that might arise and get the work done. We try to stagger the events at different times of day.

It's important to remember that Steam is a global service, so there are always users online. Our peak user load is around noon at our local time, and our lowest user count is around 2300 local time.

sciss0rz made an annotated graph to help explain the issue.

When we have planned downtime, it usually lasts only a few minutes. As such, we'll do it in the early morning or in the late afternoon (again, local time) trying to avoid the peak time of the day. If we have plans for extended downtime, we'll do what we can to schedule the time as late as possible in the evening--with the caveat that we still need staff available to do the work or to help with any problems that might occur.

Quote:
Why was downtime scheduled? I patiently waited, but didn't see any new features!
Sometimes, we take the servers down in order to perform maintenance. We might be patching software for security issues, updating operating systems or drivers, or installing new hardware, for example. These activities don't result in new features, but make Steam continue to run stably and efficiently.

Other down time events are used to publish new features in the server code. Sometimes, those features might not be immediately visible; making the servers use less memory, for example, allows them to support more users and have faster response times. Keeping the system up and running efficiently is our top priority. As time allows, we add features and publish them when they're available.
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Why don't you find a better way to announce downtime?
We'd like to implement a mechanism for announcing downtime in the Community website and within the Steam client, but until we have the time to complete an implementation, we'll continue to use the forums to make such announcements.

Last edited by MikeBlaszczak: 02-07-2010 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:49 AM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #3
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We're planning some server maintenance today, January 14, at 1500 Pacific time (2300 GMT). I expect the servers to be down for about half an hour.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:33 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #4
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We're back up. Total downtime was about 18 minutes.
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:34 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #5
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We're planning some additional downtime today, January 14, at 1800 Pacific time (0200 GMT the next day). The downtime should last less than 15 minutes.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:19 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #6
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The second planned downtime is done. We were down for about 15 minutes. Thank you for your patience!
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:14 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #7
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Steam was briefly down just now (around 1810 PST; 0110 UTC) and is already back up. We had to update code to repair an urgent issue server-side.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:19 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #8
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We performed some server maintenance today, January 19, at 1600 Pacific time. The down time was around 15 minutes.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:49 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #9
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The servers were down today for approximately 5 minutes around 1610 PST.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:44 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #10
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We will have planned downtime within the hour (currently 1:44 PM PST). Should only be down for a few minutes.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:05 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #11
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Avatar uploads have been disabled effective immediately, as we perform some preventive maintenance.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:05 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #12
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Avatar uploads have been re-enabled.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:20 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #13
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Friends, Community, etc. are currently down for maintenance.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:52 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #14
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The servers were down for about 30 minutes between 1700 and 1730 PST. They were down again for a short while around 1750 PST. The system is now back up and stable.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:13 PM   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #15
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We're going have the servers down for a few minutes at 1545 PST to publish new code to the servers.

Last edited by BurtonJ: 02-09-2009 at 03:34 PM.
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