The Stellent Web site (www.stellent.com) was down this weekend and is still down as of this morning. Should we read something sinister into this, or did someone just forget to reboot the server or not pay their DNS bill?
When I was at Aberdeen Group, we vanished off the Web one day. We didn't cotton on instantly, but by the afternoon of that Monday we started getting calls from clients asking, "Why isn't your Web site up?" Since the server was humming along just fine, we couldn't figure out what they were talking about. And when you connected to our Web server via its IP address, it was clearly up.
However, our Domain Name Service records had vanished. So when someone typed www.aberdeen.com, they were never forwarded to our Web server. It turns out that our DNS provider had suddenly decided that we hadn't paid our bill, even though we had the cancelled check (that they had cashed) and the resulting deposit record. Even faxing those documents to them didn't help. However, as an analyst firm, we had a trick up our sleeve. We started calling newspapers with the story, and when the company got bombarded with calls from reporters, it suddenly decided to be a lot more customer-centric. Even though they fixed the problem the following day, it still took the good part of that day for the revised DNS records to cascade through the system. So Aberdeen Group was offline for most of two days due to a third-party clerical screw-up.
Just one more thing to worry about in this online world.