Problems switching between data centers have slowed TypePad, the popular blog hosting service. Owner Six Apart has maxed out Typepad's space at Internap, and is in the process of moving to a new data center. Six Apart hasn't publicly named its new data center, but some Typepad blogs are showing up at Level 42. The transition has not gone smoothly, causing the Typepad service to slow to a crawl amid very public complaints by its blogger customers.
Six Apart co-founder Ben Trott explains:
While a data center move generally tends to add some risk to running a service day-to-day, we could never have anticipated anything like the last couple of weeks. We've seen failures in our storage servers, failures that we had never seen before. We've seen a failure in a piece of networking equipment that had never failed before, and so on, ranging from hardware failures to software failures. After some analysis we believe all these failures are related to the fast growth of our service resulting in heavy load on each box which we could not add to until the completion of the move.
"As many of you have noticed, during the last couple of weeks TypePad performance has not been what we aspire to and you pay for," added Six Apart President Mena Trott.
Yes, the customers have noticed, and when those customers are bloggers, that means days of loud complaints. "TypePad has been paaaaaaaainfully slow lately," wrote Rich Brooks at Business Blog Consulting. "If you have a TypePad account, posting has been somewhere between difficult and impossible." The performance problems slowed the debut of the Official Dilbert Blog, which was unavailable at times after significant advance publicity. Steve Rubel's popular MicroPersuasion blog was also offline Tuesday. Business blogger Debbie Weil warned that the problems would cause TypePad lovers to defect to competing services. Six Apart's Anil Dash responded in Weil's comments. Interestingly, Weil's blog is among those now hosted at Layer 42.
Typepad's home page is hosted at Akamai, a major content distribution network, and has been spared the level of performance problems seen by many TypePad bloggers. Mena Trott promised things will be better soon.
"Over the next week you should see significant improvement in performance as we get extra equipment on line and finish moving data off of heavily loaded servers," she wrote. "By the end of the move we will have five times the bandwidth we had before as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of new equipment and room and power to add more equipment as needed."