Yesterday from around 7:15pm ET until 8:55pm ET, the Ottoneu Fantasy Football draft software experienced severe issues, disrupting several drafts until the underlying problem was resolved. I’m writing this post-mortem to explain what happened, what was done to remedy the issue, and how Ottoneu will proceed in ensuring that this does not happen in the future. I take Ottoneu’s stability and performance, especially around draft time, extremely seriously. When Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball launched the draft experience was slow, inconsistent, and frustrating. The draft experience has improved tremendously since then, but I know that even slight issues during a draft can ruin the whole season. What happened yesterday was more than slight, so I want to be transparent about what was done and will be done to ensure that these kinds of issues are rare and quickly resolved going forward.
The draft issues were first reported via a Community Forum direct message to me at 7:13pm. There were subsequently multiple direct messages and 3 topics created about the draft issues. I happened to be away from my computer last night, so I did not respond until 7:54pm. At this point I was still away from my computer, but was able to make a fix that I believed would help with the draft issues until I could get online. While this fix did temporarily help, the draft site froze again after 15 minutes and was up and down for the next 45 minutes. In this time I was making my way back to my computer and while also attempting to understand and resolve the issue on my mobile phone. By 8:50pm ET I was back at my computer and had a solid understanding of the underlying issue. At 8:56pm ET, the underlying issue was addressed and the draft software was working as expected. Drafts were resumed and continued past midnight ET without any further issues reported to me.
Before getting into the details of the outage, I want to thank everyone for their civility in reaching out to me for support. It’s really helpful to have users who are not adding more stress to an already stressful situation, and I really appreciate how everyone communicated with me during the issues last night.
The underlying issue was related to a server setting that had been reset by mistake 3 months ago. Yesterday was the first day that traffic was high enough to be affected by this server setting. This server setting was set to the correct value at 8:56pm ET last night, which immediately improved the draft software performance. This morning I took steps to ensure that this setting will not be reset in the future.
Issues like this are unavoidable and will happen from time to time. However, I will put a focus on making sure I am online and available on days with a high number of auction drafts. This will ensure that issues are recognized and addressed faster. It is not possible for me to be online 24/7, but I will do my best going forward to be aware of our busiest days and be online during them.
I will be directly reaching out to the commissioners of the leagues who were affected by last night’s issues. I am committed to keeping those leagues together for this season and future seasons, and I will be working with everyone affected on how best to accomplish that goal.
I apologize for the football draft issues last night. I know site issues can and will happen, but my goal is to minimize how long they affect you as best I can. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support of Ottoneu Fantasy Sports.