I can't believe you've done this: Cisco.com asks visitors to explain to IT why they have broken the website

Switchzilla's online presence beset by mysterious outages

Pointing finger, photo via Shutterstock

Cisco has suffered an odd series of outages that briefly KO'd its website and corporate blogs.

The Register was first alerted yesterday to the blog outages, which replaced reams of corporate content with the default WordPress post-installation admin config page. Downtime started at around 2pm GMT and lasted for roughly an hour.

While not a security threat as such (there's only so much you can do with a blank WordPress installation, especially if you don't control the host server), it's nonetheless a bad thing to happen.

What also went down yesterday in some regions of the world was cisco.com itself, as a couple of Reddit threads revealed.

Late last night UK time, Cisco tweeted: "We have traced our disruption to an internal system change, and services are in the process of being fully restored. Thank you for your continued patience."

Sources told The Register that a power outage in the US, which was not connected with the problems in California, caused at least some of the issues with Cisco's internal DNS servers. Meanwhile, talk circulated on Reddit that a pile of internal systems had also gone down at the same time. Webex, however, did not seem to be affected.

Cisco-dot-com was, for a while, resolving to an HTTP 500 error. The default message presented read, in part: "Please contact the server administrator, it-webmasters.cisco.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error."

One is left with the mental image of a very scared product buyer timidly trying to email Cisco's webmasters and explain it wasn't his or her fault that the entire website of a multibillion-dollar global megacorp collapsed at the precise moment they were looking through the online catalogue.

With Switchzilla promoting itself as a worldwide specialist in all things networking, the outage – and seeming wipe of blogs.cisco.com – is a curious thing.

All is back online and working this morning.

Cisco itself had not responded to The Register's enquiries about what happened and how, though we will update this article if they wake up and do so.®

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