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Slack Outage Caused by AWS | Gestalt IT Rundown: January 20, 2021

Slack’s early-January outage was caused by AWS, Intel’s New CEO is rehiring CUP Architects, there was a Verizon FIOS outage on the East Coast and AWS Forks ElasticSearch after license change. We discuss these stories and much more on this week’s Rundown.

Twitter Acquires DriveScale

Twitter announced on Monday that they are purchasing composable infrastructure company and Tech Field Day presenter DriveScale. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed by Nick Tornow of Twitter said that the talent from DriveScale would provide deep knowledge of storage protocols and technologies. DriveScale was founded in 2013 and has been seen as a player in the composable infrastructure market but the details we know around this deal seem to indicate it was made quickly.

Intel Releases Early Due to Hacker?

Intel had to rush their earnings report out the door because they were hacked! Or so it would have appeared. Last week the chip giant was forced to release their earnings ahead of the scheduled time on Thursday because a hacker had accessed the sensitive data from the company’s servers. An infographic was reportedly picked up which could have benefitted stock traders with insider information. On Friday, after the release of the earnings report and a stock price drop of 9%, Intel announced that the infographic was not hacked but instead was hosted at an easily guessable URL and third parties had figured it out.

RHEL Free For Up to 16 Servers

As reported on the Rundown, CentOS has been changed into something that is effectively an unstable version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Bowing to concern from the community, Red Hat announced that as of February 1 their flagship distribution will be free for up to 16 production servers. Red Hat says this is part of their Developer Subscription program and isn’t designed to increase sales or create leads.

Jessica Rosenworcel Named Acting FCC Chair

After the departure of Ajit Pai, the incoming administration has announced that Jessica Rosenworcel is the new Acting FCC Chairwoman. Rosenworcel has been on the FCC since 2012 and is an outspoken advocate for net neutrality and internet access for all students. Her positions on a variety of other topics also are opposed to her predecessor. The US Senate must confirm her appointment for it to be permanent.

New Intel CEO Rehiring CPU Architects

If you were watching live when we broke the news that Intel was hiring Pat Gelsinger to be their new CEO next month, you know that we’re both excited at the news. Well, the hits just keep on coming because Intel is bringing back some of their retired CPU architects to keep the company moving in the right direction. Per a report from Anandtech, Intel is un-retiring Senior Fellow Glenn Hinton, who was the lead architect for Nehalem. Hinton says he had be considering a return since November but the news of Gelsinger’s return was the push he needed. His social media feed says that he’s working on an exciting new CPU project, which bodes well for a company that took a bit of a hit on Wall Street from the news that the company is going to stay the course on their current strategy.

Verizon FIOS Outage on East Coast

The East Coast of the US was a quiet place on Tuesday morning thanks to Verizon. Their FIOS broadband service was down most of the morning and into the afternoon. This affected Verizon customers up and down the Eastern Seaboard, cutting off access to email and virtual classroom software. The reported epicenter of the outage was a fiber cut in Brooklyn, New York. Verizon has not released an updated post-mortem as of yet nor an explanation as to why their backup systems weren’t able to pick up the traffic.

AWS Forks ElasticSearch After License Change

Amazon and Elastic are at odds over licensing. Elastic announced on January 19th that they are changing the licensing of ElasticSearch service from Apache 2.0 to SSPL 1.0. The move is seen as a challenge to Amazon trying to offer their own flavor of ElasticSearch as a service instead of relying on a middle man. The change is very similar to what happened with MongoDB in 2019. Predictably, Amazon has announced their own fork of ElasticSearch which is designed to keep the project open and available to the community instead of having it locked behind a non-open license like SSPL.

Slack Outage Caused by AWS

Remember back on January 4th when Slack went down on the Monday we all went back to work? Turns out part of the reason was the cloud. Slack is reporting that the initial cause of the outage was an AWS Transit Gateway that failed to scale properly when the massive influx of users hit the service. The gateway eventually did expand to carry the load but by that point the damage was done, with the Slack service constantly querying their servers and creating a self-inflicted DDoS attack. This isn’t the first time the Slack client has DDoSed itself as back on Halloween 2017 something similar happened when a massive number of users were kicked off simultaneously before trying and failing to log back on to the service.

The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on Facebook every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. To watch along, “Like” our Facebook page. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for even more weekly video content.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at