Twitter: Sorry, but outages come with bigger improvement plan

Twitter says its outage problems caused by unexpected issues found while trying to boost capacity. Improvements are coming, but so are more outages.

There's an old saying among traffic engineers about the traffic jams created by road construction projects that are intended to actually ease backups: "It's gotta get worse before it can get better."

These days, that seems to also be the rule of thumb at Twitter. (Techmeme)

In an effort to improve stability for times when it's facing record traffic, such as during the World Cup, the company has launched efforts - both short-term and long-term - to grow capacity to avoid outages in the future. But it hit some snags along the way and discovered "unexpected deeper issues" that led to downtime.

From the post, it's clear that the company anticipated demand around the time of the World Cup opening - the Internet itself set a new global record for news site traffic, surpassing the night of President Obama's election victory in the U.S.  What they didn't expect were these deeper issues.

So they're working on it - and there are actually some details about what's happening over on the engineering blog. And they say it's going to get better.

But don't forget what the traffic engineers say about improvement projects. With that said, Twitter issued this warning:

Over the next two weeks, we may perform relatively short planned maintenance on the site. During this time, the service will likely be taken down. We will not perform this work during World Cup games, and we will provide advance notification.

For real-time updates on site outages or major issues, you can go to our Status blog. For most other problems that you may be having with Twitter, follow @Support.

Consider yourself warned.