Server Rental News: Get your Head out of the Cloud and Prepare for Outages

While cloud migration continues to grow and companies turn to virtualisation as a convenient, or perhaps a cost-effective storage method, we are reminded of the risks that come with cloud outages as they are often very public, and embarrassing.

JR Raphael from InfoWorld listed 10 of the worst cloud outages that you’ll likely remember as a frustrated user, or as someone who’s keeping up with industry news.  What we can learn from these outages, reminds Raphael, is that that the cloud isn’t always the “end all, be all” data storage solution but rather a “mixed bag” of sorts.

“What you gain in avoiding upkeep, you lose in control.  And the security concerns are considerable.  But nowhere is the nightmare as vivid as it is when your cloud service goes down,” he wrote.

In short, the top five of Raphael’s list of worst cloud outages are the following (to the full list in more detail, check out his article):

The most notable, recent event at the top of the list occurred when Amazon’s Northern Virginia data center suffered a glitch during a network upgrade. Chaos ensued for businesses that had signed up for the company’s new cloud services and were unprepared for such a mishap.

In 2009, Sidekick (owned by Microsoft) suffered a week-long service outage that left users without access to email and other personal data stored on their phones, after which the company completely lost the cloud-stored data forever.

When Gmail suffered its outage, 150,000 users were left with no email, folders, or any of the settings on their personal accounts.  It took some users up to four days to recover their lost files.

While on email service providers, let’s not forget Hotmail who at the end of 2010, mistakenly deleted 17,000 of its users’ accounts when running a script meant to target those faux or “dummy” accounts.

Intuit suffered not just one, but two back-to-back outages, infuriating its users in an over 36-hour span.  When the first outage occurred, affecting platforms like TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks, the primary and the backup systems were completely shut down or “off the grid.”  The second outage followed only a few weeks later.

To summarize, here’s a few clichés based on the advice of industry experts everywhere: don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.  Get your head out of the clouds. Be prepared and have a backup ready—assume the system is going to fail.

At Hamilton Rentals, we have a huge selection of storage options available that you can peruse on our server rental page.  Contact us for more information.


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