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ProtonVPN Connectivity Issues Tuesday 5th February 2019 20:18:09
There are currently issues connecting to ProtonVPN servers. Our engineering team is currently looking into this and will update as soon as we have more information.
After approximately 25 minutes of investigation, the issue was understood, and the root cause found. A brief interruption on the ProtonMail network caused a large number of ProtonMail clients to reconnect at the same time. This established a large number of new connections all in one moment, which overloaded one of our load balancers. As a result, the load balancer in question went into a non-linear regime where the CPU was stuck at 100% even after the number of connections returned to normal, and this increased the response time of the Proton API. Systems with shorter timeouts configured (such as ProtonVPN authentication servers) started to time out as a result, leading to some ProtonVPN clients being unable to authenticate and connect to servers.
The issue was resolved when we started routing production load through a second load balancer. We have migrated production traffic now to a load balancer with much more capacity, and will continue to divide load in the future to avoid further overload related issues.