Top five cloud outages of 2011

Jennifer Scott News
20 Dec, 2011

It is the fear every user of the public cloud has. We run down the worst of the outages in cloud computing last year.

The public cloud has many benefits. The instant access to extra storage and compute helps in times of need. The pay as you go model means you only splash out for what you use. The lack of license keeps you free and easy to move your data.

But, the one thing we all worry about is an outage. It doesn’t matter how good the service is if you cannot access it and it still prevents numerous companies from putting mission critical data or applications out there.

We take a look at the top five cloud outages this year and keep our fingers crossed the offenders learn from their mistakes.

In at number five…

Google Docs September outage 

We at Virtual Clouds love the convenience of Google Docs. We often use it when we are out on the road, covering cloud computing stories from conferences and events, or typing up an interview we can then easily share with those back in the office.

However, on 8 September, things came to a halt, infuriating numerous customers of the internet giant.

The word processor only faltered for an hour and due to it falling over after 10pm in the UK, we were largely unaffected. Yet, it was smack bang in the middle of the US working day and hit a lot of companies who needed access to their files.

The major fury though was not down to the outage itself but the lack of explanation. Even when Virtual Clouds spoke to Google, the firm didn’t often any information, only an apology.

Lesson to learn: Keep your customers informed and explain any outages. It will avoid a lot of anger later on.

Rolling up in fourth place…

Google Docs October outage 

If one wasn’t enough, Google yet again wound up its customers, just a month after the last outage at Google HQ.

The word processor fell down again, specifically in San Francisco and Budapest, meaning the issue affected fewer users but in more specific regions.

Although again, it didn’t take long for the company to fix the problems, Google still didn’t explain what had caused the outage.

It merely said to Virtual Clouds: “Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

Lesson to learn: One mistake can be forgiven but make it twice and the mud might stick.

Sign up for our free newsletter