There are a number of reasons why a web site may not be accessible or operate properly, which can range from issues with your local internet provider to programming errors ("bugs") introduced to the web site inadvertently by us.
We have full responsibility and control over programming issues and our staff has always quickly addressed them as they are discovered. However, network issues are a good example of circumstances beyond our control. Our network infrastructure is managed by one of the country's most highly rated web hosting organizations, INetU. Over the years, they have maintained a remarkable "up-time" record and always are very responsive when our technical staff needs them to investigate various networking and server issues that occur from time to time. On Thursday, they experienced an internal failure that took them a few hours to correct. This affected all of their clients - not just the Castle web site. They kept us informed of what was going on and we in turn did our best to let you know what was happening.
INetU let us know that they carefully analyzed all of the switches in their data center (which is where the failure began) and have taken steps to make sure that a similar failure will not have the same negative effect. Here is part of their message sent to us early Saturday night:
"The engineering team has re-enabled all switches in the management layer. During the maintenance early this morning our team, along with our vendors, carefully analyzed each switch and ran tests to ensure that they were operating properly. As we turned up the switches one by one, we found a few degraded paths within a VLAN that exhibited instability and some packet loss. This was corrected by toggling ports which immediately cleared the issue. Engineering adjusted certain error detection parameters to be less aggressive, and the entire system was released back into production mode.
Thank you again,
President, Castle Learning Online
Castle Software, Inc.