But, can you depend on it as a business user? I mean, really depend on it? No, you must have back up plans always ... always.
Last week, as many of you know, Skype suffered a massive service interruption -- for 24 hours beginning on December 22. Essentially, the entire service was down. In a bold move that I fully applaud for its complete transparency and accountability, Skype's CIO, Lars Rabbe, wrote a lengthy blog discussing why and how this happened -- here is the link. (As an aside, this is precisely how companies should treat their customers during major periods of service disruption -- i.e., full transparency and accountability. Major brownie points for Skype on this one.)
Obviously, Skype restored its service, but 24 hours is a long long time if Skype is your primary mode of communication. And, is this an isolated event? Can Skype now institute fail-safes to prevent a massive outage yet again? Is that even possible?
From what I understand from one of the foremost experts on these matters -- former SightSpeed CTO (and now Logitech executive) Aron Rosenberg -- the answer is absolutely not. The problem is Skype's particular flavor or P2P upon which its entire systems sits -- i.e., its supernode architecture. By its inherent nature, Skype's form of P2P apparently is always vulnerable to cascading system failure -- and that exposes all of us users to service interruption. This same risk is not inherent in all P2P systems -- again, it is inherent in Skype's particular implementation of P2P. I urge you to read this former guest post by Aron Rosenberg on this subject -- explaining with great precision why this is the case.
This means that all Skype users -- including me -- should have back up plans when this happens again. Unless Aron is wrong -- which I highly doubt -- this eventuality is an inevitability time and time and time again ...
Again, I like Skype and I greatly respect the company. I'm just pointing out something that all Skype users should know ... and something that is not well understood.