SmartThings Community

SmartThings Outage - Mar 12 2018

I am new to ST and home automation but I can honestly say THIS IS CRAP.

I am an industrial automation engineer by trade and if ANY of my control systems took outages like thus it would be my ass!

I am so disappointed with ST

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What do you pay for your industrial SCADA systems? What type of reoccurring OPEX do you have?

I know everyone likes to complain, but there is no subscription fees for ST. The initial cost doesn’t come close to covering the expenses of running the backend, and I’m honestly highly shocked there isn’t a monthly subscription already.

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Wow! Good luck with that! Yes, IMHO you have definitely gone too far. Love SmartThings but that’s way too much risk for me.

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It seems a lot of you don’t think about outages or potential for outages when you design your systems. A home is a somewhat permanent install prospect and we are tying it in with a third party or several third parties to run this.

Personally, I would LOVE for everything to run locally but I don’t think there is a system that can accomplish this, yet. I hope some day that will happen but it would be a very tough task to make it possible with the wide variety of products out there.

At a very minimum, you have to think about your Internet going down. Sure, you can have cellular backup, but that only works if the cell towers are up. I have seen regional Internet outages.

A few months after I got my hub, I was having my siding replaced. I had come home from the hospital only a couple weeks before that and I was really unable to walk and I had a PICC line installed in my arm and was not allowed to leave my house unless it was medically necessary. So, I relied a lot on Internet and cable TV. Well, the people installing my siding screwed up my cable line that connected me to television and the Internet. I called my carrier (Charter) and they said they could have someone out…two days from then. That is a lot of BluRay/DVD playing. A friend of mine who worked in the office even came out to see if he could help. He could not. He did, however, talk to the service manager and got me bumped to next day. But, it got me thinking about how I plan expansion.

Sure, automation is great when it works but what happens when it stops. We have cell phones with our entire address book safely stored in them but do any of us take the trouble to memorize important phone numbers, anymore? I know about 1 or 2. What happens if you are in trouble and your phone is not working? Who do you call?

It is very easier to just replace a bulb with a smart bulb than to replace the light switch with a smart switch. But, there are no on/off buttons on smart bulbs. If you cannot use automation, then unless you have a dumb switch to override it, that bulb stays on until something tells it to turn off. That is why my house is mostly smart switches and dimmers. I could move, today, and just have to change 3 smart bulbs (hall and two sconces–all with dumb switches as a last resort) and the new person living at my house could turn on and off everything with the switches on the wall. My mother has had to come over when I have been out of town and she is not computer literate. Most of you call it the “Wife Factor”. Last night, when I went to bed at my normal time, I just ran around the house and used the switches to turn off things that did not automatically turn off. No big deal.

There may come a day that Samsung or Amazon or Google decides to quit the automation business and shut their data centers down (it could happen–would not put money on it, but it could). You have all this equipment in your house. Are you going to grab a screw driver and start swapping back to dumb bulbs and switches? You put equipment in that you can manually override should the need ever arise. Luckily, this equipment is somewhat standards-based (Zigbee/Z-Wave) so if you replace it, chances are you can find something that will support it.

This stuff is a little different in that respect that normal technology. 3-5 years is the life expectancy of hardware and congrats if you are running anything longer. Because of this, operating systems can change. Updates get run. Applications get updated. They simply tell you the old stuff won’t run on the new hardware and you have no choice to upgrade. You cannot exactly tell a person that every 5 years they have to run around their house and change every switch, outlet, thermostat, and lock.

I hope above all that Samsung is starting to realize the importance of reliability. Microsoft use to get a lot of grief over updates that would break applications and computers. They came back with more rigorous testing. Microsoft is not the only OS. Apple has had a few blunders and so has Linux.

And then you have to worry about the bad things that can happen over the Internet. AT&T, a few years ago, suffered a huge DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) against their DNS servers, which rendered a lot of web sites inaccessible. Google and NetFlix have also had this happen. There is a severe shortage of computer security experts out there and unemployment is actually negative in that sector of technology. So, something comes out that has never been seen before, and we learn from it. Look at Target’s credit card issues. Equifax. Home Depot. Ashley Madison. It is the radar detector/cop problem but in the 21st century.

I call this growing pains and SmartThings has been kind of quiet for a while as far as innovation and then we started hearing about newer things coming out this year, like a new app, a new hub with ADT, etc. I have a sneaking suspicion that these major outages have a lot to do with preparing these new technologies and the code writers are making mistakes. On average, for every 20,000 lines of code, there is a mistake, although, I suspect that these code writers are making over their quotas on that. A lot of times, code writing is outsourced and there are better code writers than the average.

I understand the frustration. I got my first Logitech Harmony Hub and could not really play with it last night because of this. I was upset. I opened up a support case (once it came up) and wrote them a scathing E-Mail. I highly doubt that complaining to each other on this forum is going to make the impact support cases would because they can be escalated and forwarded to management. Typically, a company will be more inclined to pull in support case data over forum entries when upper management is concerned. I did touch on the fact that if my data centers experienced monthly or even biweekly outages, like SmartThings, I would be out of a job. I was calm. I was respectful. I used to be an in-store tech for Best Buy before I got into my field. If you yelled and screamed at me, I turned you off in my head and was apt to do less for you. However, if you calmly pleaded your case, I would do everything I could to help you out. Now that a day has passed and after you can try and calm down, I would suggest you all send your grievances to support@smartthings.com and calmly convey that these outages are unacceptable. I am sure they will get forwarded to those in charge and pressure will come down from management to be more proactive in preventing these.

Sorry for the book but it took me a while to read this thread and it was very similar to the other threads I have seen from other outages, which I maintain are way too many.

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I don’t (justify it). Nothing security-wise or security related is on SmartThings. I have a separate, monitored, rock-solid security Sytems for those functions. For what is on SmartThings, there are somewhat inconvenient, manual ways to deal with these outages.

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As far as security goes, there are lots of purpose-built low-end systems which should be more reliable, but they all have many fewer features and device choices than smartthings. But I think many of the people in this Forum, including myself, do use a different security system than the original SmartThings. The new ADT/SmartThings security panel does offer some significant security improvements over the SmartThings standard hub, so it’s also worth considering just as a low cost security option.

As far as home automation, you will find a number of existing discussion threads on alternatives or add on systems.

There are a lot of choices out there, and different things work for different people. There’s no one best answer. The trick is to be honest with yourself about what your own highest priorities are (reliability, low price, support for complex rule sets, wide choice of devices, no monthly fee, whatever).

You can find a system that will match your top priority, but you can’t find a system that matches everything, so you need to know for yourself what matters most to your household. And what you are willing to give up to get that highest priority. People who want to write their own code will be looking for a very different system than someone who wants something they can “set and forget.” :sunglasses:


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Even with the unreliability, SmartThings is the platform of choice for many people because of the power and versatility it provides at one of the lowest costs on the market. That’s a valid reason to choose it if that kind of versatility is your top priority. :sunglasses: You can make SmartThings do almost anything. It’s just that at present you can’t count on it to to do it every day. Whether that works for you or not, and what specific use cases it works for, is something only you can say.

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First issue Ive had in about a year (other than the odd 1-10 minute outage) - hope smartthings staff finds a fix soon.

Even with todays outage, the last year has been much more stable for me than the year before.

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I assume all these problems are being caused as part of their migration to combine Samsung connect / ARTIK and smartthings etc ? lot of behind the scenes server changes ?

i now realise i have way too much of my house running on a system which is not stable enough for me to feel comfortable leaving my family alone with it for more than a day or two or they all have to walk around in the dark and i will have garden lights on all day …

im sure you all know the feeling when you walk into a room and you look to see if the automatic lights will or wont turn on this time… and 3 hours later when they are still on when you set it for 5 minutes after motion stops…once in a while is ok, but these days its almost every day somethings down or not responding from the cloud.

i have a KNX system which i have managed to link to smartthings and thank god i kept it going as its the only part of the house system that works reliably.

I like the idea of Hubitat but i dont know if i can be bothered to start again and also dont know much about it

I don’t see why a V3 smartthings hub couldn’t move a lot more to run locally, and finally we do need a way to backup and restore should our hub die. it hasn’t happened to me yet but if i lost all my configs or the hub died then that would be the end of smartthings for me for sure.

the potential of this system is huge … but they need to take a whole new look at how you build in reliability and redundancy if they want to attract more than just the home hobbyist

This was written in the dark as i refuse to get up and turn on the light switch which is supposed to be on with motion… thanks smartthings…

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I have a v1 hub and I’m on the original North American cloud shard. I wasn’t able to access the mobile app for several hours last night. But with Lutron caseta switches I could still control some of my lights (even with alexa), and with aeon micro relays I had local control of some others (it’s not that hard to flip a switch). I even had routines and WebCoRE pistons running during the time that others were reporting continued outages.

Even though my hub is totally cloud reliant, I think the 1st NA shard is just prone to fewer problems, and most of these outages have been minimally painful for me. I have no real evidence for that, just my own experience.

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some things are working for me too.

Routines seem to be working but some things are coming on and then not going off etc…

Anytime i try to edit a Routine in the ST app i get an error stating “You are not authorized to perform this operation”.

Fun times.

@NomadTech has opened up a discussion thread and posted an announcement of a very significant development. I suggest taking any discussion of it over to that thread, but this is a big deal. I’m sure it’s been in the works for a while, the announcement isn’t because of this particular outage. But it does answer a lot of questions.

Harman, also a Samsung company, will take on key SmartThings development tasks including with developing and deploying the SmartThings app, work third party sensors into the SmartThings ecosystem, develop SmartThings Cloud and develop the SmartThings roadmap.

I’m pretty sure this means a full-scale push into the Artik Lego block approach to IOT. Samsung has been teasing that for about three years, but I think this means it’s here.

Again, follow up discussion specific to the Harman involvement should go in the following thread:

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I just noticed this too. Guess I jinxed myself. I logged it with support.

It is a one time registration. Everything is local with hubitat. Besides, you’d still need Internet access for updates.

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So will this be called the “Great Outage of 2018”.

I really like automating my house with ST. I also have a Lutron Hub as well. I think all of the automation features fall into a “nice to have” bucket. But I don’t bet my life on them. I have, and will always have manual backups for everything. So yesterday to me was just a minor burp.

Big deal.

Occasionally about twice a year here in Florida, the lightning capital of the USA, we lose power for several hours. Now that’s inconvenient. But somehow I live through it. When the lights come back on, I am very thankful for the people out there who brought the power back online.

Today I am thankful for the people at Samsung who brought ST back online.

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Yesterday may have been one minor burp for you. For everyone else, this entire year has been a complete gastrointestinal disorder:



This doesn’t include the Jan 3rd platform outage either.

One of the January outages lasted longer and affected more functionality, so I think this one will just be remembered as one of several early 2018 outages.

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I’m getting a “not authorized” message when attempting to edit routines. Routines also do not run when pressed. My scheduled routines are running though… Logged with support.

My camera DVR (LA View with great app!) is behind my Piano and a 65" TV bolted to the wall an inch above the piano. Nobody’s getting to that thing before all my alarms go off, my phones are paged, and snaps are sent to my phone. :slight_smile:

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Now we know where to look…lol

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