Routine maintenance took the blogging site offline for a day, just as it struggles to increase capacity to meet growing demand.
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Tumblr was up, down and up again Tuesday as the popular blogging site struggled to recover from a snafu during regular maintenance that made the blogging site inaccessible for most of Monday.
Soon after posting an apology and explanation for the outage Tuesday, the site went down again, with the all-too-familiar "we'll be back shortly" message replacing the site's homepage. "Because of Tumblr, I truly hate the word 'shortly,'" a frustrated user wrote on Twitter. The site returned soon after and, as of midday Tuesday, was back up.
The problem started Sunday evening when the site's engineers took down a critical database cluster. What was supposed to be routine brought down the site's entire network for roughly the next 24 hours.
On Tuesday, Tumblr acknowledged that it has stumbled in trying to keep up with traffic, which has climbed to more than 500 million page views each month. "We are determined and focused on bringing our infrastructure well ahead of capacity as quickly as possible," said the company's blog.
In trying to boost capacity, the company says it has quadrupled its engineering team this month alone. The added manpower wasn't enough to prevent the latest outage, which the company apologized for. "While you might feel like you've gotten used to seeing errors on Tumblr recently, know that this is absolutely unacceptable to our team," the company says.
Tumblr's mea culpa comes as users have openly vented their frustration with the site on Twitter. In June, Twitter hit a record 2 billion tweets per month, which translates into 64 million tweets per day, according to Pingdom.
Tumblr has also been growing. Each day, Tumblr's 7.5 million users make 5.3 million-plus posts, according to the site. About 50% of the posts are photos, with the remaining half split among text, links, quotes, music and video. Tumblr is best known for its tools that make blogging very easy. Competitors include TypePad, WordPress and Posterous.