The 10 biggest cloud outages of 2016

Posted on 29/10/2016 by Roman Gudkov


t is paramount to know what to expect from CLOUD PROVIDER in regards to service availability, how long outage lasts and how customers are being notified.This post is about major cloud outages occured in 2016.

Symantec Cloud, 11 April

A portal Symantec offers customers to manage their cloud-based security services went down for 24 hours on 11 April.

As engineers worked throughout the day to restore and configure a database necessary to bring back online, the security vendor's status page mushroomed with apologies to users.   

Telstra, February to June

The telco has been hit with five major outages starting on 9 February when its mobile networks were knocked out due to "embarrassing human error." On 18 March, Telstra's network went down again, sparking a major review into the telco's infrastructure. Both instances resulted in Telstra offering customers a free data day. Five days later, Telstra suffered its third outage with customers in Victoria and Tasmania unable to access services due to a card failure in a media gateway. Just days after chief executive Andy Penn allocated $250 million to fixing its network, Telstra's fixed lines services went down, with companies like Jetstar, ME Bank and Monash University all reporting disruptions.           

Twitter, 19 January

Social messaging giant Twitter experienced global problems on the morning of 19 January after uploading some faulty code.

The internal software update caused web and mobile apps to go down for an uncharacteristically long period of time, first reported in a tweet before 2am US-pacific time. About eight hours later, Twitter confirmed the system was back up and running as it was supposed to.

For many Twitter users, those eight hours felt like an eternity.

 Microsoft Office 365, 18 January

Some Office 365 users were painfully separated from their cloud-based email accounts for many days, starting on 18 January.

Microsoft blamed a buggy software update, but its first attempt at a fix didn't hold - another salvo of email failures riled customers five days after the initial outage was reported.

Problems with the cloud productivity suite's email services persisted for longer than a week in some cases. While not all Office 365 users suffered downtime, those affected had a large number of users, Microsoft confirmed.

Microsoft Office 365, 22 February

Some Microsoft customers in Europe had a rough time accessing their email from their mobile phones on 22 February, or had to endure delays as they tried to log in to Office 365 services through the web portal.

Microsoft blamed the problem - which affected users intermittently for many hours - on heavy demand for cloud resources.

A similar, though more widespread, Office 365 outage impacted email and other services across the EU the previous December.

Salesforce, 3 March

Some Salesforce customers in Europe had to cope with a CRM disruption for up to 10 hours caused by a storage problem across an instance on that continent.

Even after the storage tier was reconnected, some features still weren't working properly, and the cloud software giant continued reporting degraded performance on its EU2 instance.

Google Cloud Platform, 11 April

An outage took down Google Cloud Platform services for 18 minutes on the evening of 11 April, affecting Compute Engine instances and VPN service in all its regions.

Google offered affected customers service credits for 10 percent of their monthly Google Compute Engine charges, and 25 percent of their monthly VPN charges.

Salesforce, 10 May

A persistent outage wiped out four hours of data customers entered into their CRMs on 10 May and took days to fully remediate.

While CEO Marc Benioff personally apologised to one customer on Twitter, Salesforce wouldn't comment on how widespread the outage was, or what regions or services were affected by the database failure linked to NA14 - one of 45 Salesforce cloud instances in North America.

Salesforce's system status webpage said the performance degradation started at 8:41am US-eastern time, followed by a "service disruption" less than an hour later, at 9:31am.

Apple, 2 June

Apple's cloud experienced a widespread outage on 2 June, taking offline some of the tech giant's popular retail and backup services.

The outage started around 12:30am US-pacific time, making it impossible for some customers to access multiple iCloud and App Store services.

App Store, Apple TV App Store and Mac App Store, iTunes and Apple's cloud-based photo service all experienced disruptions.

Amazon Web Services, 4 June

As storms pummeled Sydney on 4 June, an Amazon Web Services region in the area lost power, and a number of EC2 instances and EBS volumes hosting critical workloads for name-brand companies subsequently failed.

Websites and online services went down across the Australian AWS availability zone for roughly 10 hours that weekend, disrupting everything from banking services to pizza deliveries.

Affected enterprise customers pointed their fingers at the world's largest cloud provider as it worked to restore service.

Dishonorable mention - Pokémon Go, July

OK, not exactly an enterprise concern, and not even falling in the first half of the year, but given the craze around the game from Google spin-off Niantic, it's fun to mention nonetheless.

Since Pokémon Go's release on 6 July, a number of outages have impacted players, sometimes disconnecting them mid monster hunt.

Unprecedented usage, coupled with hackers executing distributed denial-of-service attacks, has delayed release in Europe as the developers try to get a handle on flooded servers.




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