Advice for mitigating service disruptions


We were impacted by the outage today ( and I was wondering if you could provide some guidance on how we can mitigate this. How does one create redundant Okta Org Authorization Servers? Do we need to do that? What are your best practices?



Apologies for the outage yesterday. This is the first one we have had since I’ve been at Okta that impacted the developer tier’s home and my applications were affected as well.

I think you ask a really good question, but understanding the root cause of the underlying issue, the only way this particular one could have been mitigated is by not being in that particular cell.

With that being said, Okta does give you the ability to run multiple authorization servers in the same organization, these could be used for failover if one authorization server went down. Their original purpose is for different audiences (one audience for each authorization server), but you could possibly set up multiple for redundancy.

I think there is an interest product enhancement out of your question. Which is how Okta could allow you to have the same organization in multiple cells, and if one goes down, we can elegantly funnel traffic to the other cell. I’m going to talk to our architects about this. It definitely seems feasible and would be a value-add for customers needing automatically failover and redundancy.

Let me know any questions - always happy to help.


Thanks Tom.

I’m not 100% familiar with your architecture yet so the difference between a cell and an authorization server is not clear to me, since the 400 failure happened when I called the authorization server. Nevertheless, I’d be very grateful to hear the outcome of your discussion with the Okta architects.

BTW, pass on my kudos to the team for a great product and to you and @robertjd for how responsive you are on these forums.



Oh yea, the terminology is a little confusing. A cell hosts a set of Okta organizations; you can imagine a cell as the set of machines and databases that run Okta. Your organization hosts your tenant, which is a directory, authorization servers, and a set of policies around all of it. This is a simplification, but I think that is all I need to cover. One of the benefits of having organizations in cells is it is very uncommon for service disruptions to affect all customers.

And thanks for your kind words, I’ll pass the feedback on to the team, it is a group effort for building the product and supporting people building on top of Okta. We strive to create a team that is motivated by customer success.