Cisco’s WebEx Teams still wobbling, a week after wipeout

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Cisco’s WebEx Teams still wobbling, a week after wipeout

Cisco is still experiencing problems across its WebEx Teams collaboration suite, more than a week after outages first struck the services, but is close to full restoration of services.

WebEx Teams went down, hard, on September 26th Australian time. It struggled back to life over several days. Cisco’s incident log records that some services – including meetings on WebEx room systems – were unavailable for two days or more. WebEx room systems are the heir to Cisco’s telepresence systems, so aren’t cheap.

At the time of writing, three WebEx Teams services were suffering “degraded performance”. At around 4:00AM Sydney time a dozen services were in that state and a further three were enduring a “partial outage”.

Cisco’s incident log records numerous deployments of fixes, but also reports that the updates didn’t immediately work or improve performance for all users.

The company is, so far, silent on the reasons for the outage: the incident report offers no insights on what went wrong and why, and Cisco’s blogs and social feeds are silent on the matter.

Yet the company is still pumping out promos like the Tweet below that proclaims the critical importance of networks to business.

When the network is down, your small business isn't up. Here's how to build a defense that works: #Spiceworld2018

— Cisco (@Cisco) October 2, 2018


A possible clue to the nature of the outage could be a September 24th incident that involved “an issue that caused some WebEx cloud registered devices to fail a particular encryption key exchange” and meant “any effected devices to fail to create a whiteboard session or fail to decrypt the room titles for meetings or upcoming calendar events.”

Cisco deployed a fix that required a reboot. It’s not unfeasible for that fix to have been flawed and to have created wider problems.

CRN Australia has asked Cisco for comment on the outage and its root cause and will update this story if we receive a meaningful response.

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