Since this morning, I’m experiencing some severe Skype network problems. The client disconnects regularly, needs about 5 minutes to reconnect and drops the connection quite soon again (about a minute later). Likewise, the number of client that are logged in has dropped to about 2.5 million. Which also means that the p2p network is just about half the size that it’s used to be. If a good portion of the Skype users experiences the same problems, I guess the network is not present at all as any joining node leaves the network quite fast again.
One might draw the conclusion that although there is a 2.5 million node network, it is more of a virtual kind, as it might be fast changing due to failing nodes and missing links. This behavior is actually quite close to ad-hoc networks. I’m interested to see what the Skype guys find out about the cause for this behavior: http://heartbeat.skype.com/2007/08/problems_with_skype_login.htm (thanks to AvionarU for the link)
[edit 14:06] Ok, here’s an educated guess about what might be going on: It appears to me that the network gets fragmented. Nodes (Clients) get disconnected or disconnect themselves for some reason. A node getting disconnected also disconnects other nodes from the network, especially if they are one of the heavy duty nodes that constitute the hubs of the Skype network. Then millions of nodes try to reconnect to other hubs, causing quite some load to them and maybe causing them to go down again. It could be some sort of vicious circle.
[edit 14:31] That’s a new record: my client get’s to know about 509.071 connected clients in the Skype network. Looks like there are quite some people that have problems connection to the network. Quoting Skype heartbeat:
UPDATED: Some of you may be having problems logging in to Skype. Our engineering team has determined that it’s a software issue and hopes to have this resolved quickly. Meanwhile, you can simply leave your Skype client running and as soon as the issue is resolved, you will be logged in. We apologize for the inconvenience.
[edit 15:22] Skype Heartbeat says: “We expect this to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours.”