Who Turned Off the Cloud? Multiple Service Providers Experience Outages

By Rachel Ramsey July 12, 2012

The only thing we’ve been hearing about power lately is the lack of it. Power outages have been occurring left and right so far this summer, affecting everyone from restaurants to cloud service providers. When companies employ cloud solutions, they are under the impression this new solution will keep services running and be available all day, every day.

Opting to rely on cloud-based services usually ensures reliability—you don’t have to have your own IT staff to deal with potential problems and you can rely on the provider to take care of issues for you. There are many who still have yet to jump on board with the cloud because of lack of control, and these recent outages are prime examples of that.

Amazon and Salesforce are two major cloud providers who have been experiencing outages in the past few weeks. Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM systems suffered a systematic data center failure that disrupted both normal operations and backup systems, affecting nearly all 68,000 Salesforce customers in the most recent outage.

Amazon Web Services suffered multiple outages so far this year in its Northern Virginia data center, affecting websites such as Quora, Hipchat, Heroku and Dropbox. One outage was caused by a cable fault in the high voltage power distribution system and lasted for more than 18 hours.

France Telecom also experienced a network outage over this past weekend that left 26 million customers unable to make calls or send text messages. The outage was reportedly caused by a software update, and Alcatel-Lucent is working with France Telecom to identify the “root causes” of the outage. The telecom service provider will give all mobile customers a free day of calling in September to compensate them for the service disruption.

But the list doesn’t end there. O2, a major UK provider of mobile phones and broadband, experienced an outage last night, leaving thousands of O2 mobile customers in the UK without service, including the ability to make calls and use data. The company resorted to Twitter to alert customers of the problem and to update about engineers on the case. ‘Virtual’ networks GiffGaff and Tesco Mobile, who piggyback off O2’s infrastructure, were also hit by the outage. 

Disasters and accidents happen, but each minute of downtime costs money, creates headaches and hassle and leaves companies with unsatisfied customers. Providers of cloud and network services need to ensure they’re taking steps to prepare for instances such as these outages.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

TechZone360 Web Editor

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