Apple blames iTunes outage on DNS error. What does that mean?

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple apologizes as outage hits online services.

Apple’s App Store, iTunes, iBooks, and Mac App Stores were all down on Wednesday, while other Apple services such as Apple TV, iCloud, and FaceTime were working properly. The outage vexed the iPhone and iPad maker for more than five hours, disrupting some of the world’s most widely used and profitable services and frustrating millions of music lovers and mobile device owners around the world. The problem was the result of an error in the domain name system (DNS) — the technology used to direct computers towards the right address when they click on a link. The blog found that everyone from Armenia to Hong Kong was blocked from buying content through the various online stores. “We apologize to our customers experiencing problems with iTunes and other services this morning,” Apple says in the statement. “The cause was an internal DNS error at Apple.

We’re working to make all of the services available to customers as soon as possible, and we thank everyone for their patience.” Well, first off, “internal” means that Apple is taking responsibility for the mistake. About 800 million accounts with credit cards linked to them have been set up on Apple’s iTunes store since it opened in 2003 to sell digital music for the company’s iPods. The news comes two days after Apple announced details about its smartwatch, which will be available in several markets on April 24, along with a new Macbook computer. While computers access the Internet through IP addresses – codes made up of numbers separated by dots, such as 50.57.23.79 – DNS is a short cut for average humans.

Reports on Twitter showed staff using old fashioned carbon copy credit card machines, since the systems that power the high-tech portable card machines were also buckled. It works by allowing users to type simple names – such as csmonitor.com – into an address bar, rather than typing out the whole IP address for each website and server.

DNS errors can occur when there’s a breakdown in this system, either because a server is down or because there’s an issue with the DNS routing to correct domain.

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