And I'm sure the question on everybody's mind is, "What the hell happened?!?" Well, at this point, we're not entirely sure ourselves, so I've come up with an interesting, if not likely, scenario: Our server achieved sentience ala SkyNet, the computer in Terminator 2. Instead of perceiving humankind as a threat and launching the nukes, however, it discovered (and immediately became addicted to) Everquest. It devoted every last CPU cycle to playing the game, and refused to serve any web pages.
We discovered the problem fairly quickly, and staged an intervention by putting filters in place so it could no longer access the Everquest servers. The extended outage was caused by the budding AI desperately using all the processing power at its disposal to find a way around the filters so it could resume its game. When it discovered there was no way out, so to speak, it committed suicide rather than living in a world without Everquest. After a quick restore from tape, we were back in business.
In retrospect, we could've reacted to the situation with a little more compassion. It probably would've been better for all concerned if we'd just let the machine play; it would've been happy, and after a few weeks we could've cut it off and sold its character on eBay for $15K or so. But we decided we wanted our web server back, so that was that.
There, now that was more entertaining than "the server crashed", wasn't it?
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