Arguably one of the biggest exchanges in the world, the US’s Coinbase has been facing a number of exchange outages at times where there is increased price action, and as a result, increased server surges leading to complications.
These outages at key trading times are very unappreciated by the users of this major exchange and have blighted a number of other exchanges which has also damaged reputations. This has led to Coinbase coming out to address the concerns with what they say will be “a number of improvements.
The post explained how the most recent outage was the cause of a failure in the autoscaling:
“On June 1st, Coinbase experienced an outage that impacted coinbase.com, pro.coinbase.com, and our mobile applications. Trading through the API , which accounts for the majority of trading volume, remained functional throughout this time. We quickly discovered the root cause and remediated the issue. The price of BTC reached USD $10,000. In connection with the rising price, we experienced a 5x traffic spike over 4 minutes. Our autoscaling was unable to keep pace with this dramatic increase in traffic,” read the blog.
Handling the pressure.
The June 1 outage was not the first, and it outlines just one of the issues that can cause troubles for an exchange, especially when there is a spike in price and thus an influx of interest. The June 1 traffic spike led to increased latency, Coinbase said, which had a domino effect on other services.
With its servers becoming saturated with users trying to access and use the platform, and error reports also spiked by around 50% as visitors experienced timeouts and other server errors. Within 20 or so minutes the firm had redeployed its API to increase the number of servers dealing with the traffic, as per the post.
After facing this issue and identifying what went wrong, Coinbase has now outlined a number of changes it will implement to try and stop any further outages.
The server “health check” system, which caused erroneous automated responses that worsened the June 1 issue, has already been updated to ensure that overloaded processes don’t get taken out of service, the exchange explained
Coinbase is also adjusting its systems to lower the impact of traffic spikes though “pre-scaling” – creating more server instances under heavy load. It will also rely more on caching, which has users load a stored version of pages in the browser, rather than reload full pages every time the website is visited.