When reporting on some recent outages of cloud services from Google and Microsoft, Kevin McCaney at GCN recently asked the question: “is this the new normal”?
It’s an interesting question to pose, but let’s take it a step further: ”Are outages of key IT services becoming the new norm?” With that frame of reference, I did a little digging around the web and indeed the frequency and impact of IT outages has increased.
In addition to the Google and Microsoft outages reference in the link above, some more recent highly visible events of the past year include:
- Target website goes down
- Netflix video streaming outage #1 and outage #2
- Amazon Cloud down in EMEA
- AWS in the US, outage #1 and outage #2
- Sony PlayStation Network
- Twitter disruptions
- San Diego Power Outage
There was no one thing that caused these outages as they ranged from natural events to human error, and they varied in severity. The common thread is that they are happening at an increasing rate.
Many more outages occur but we don’t actually hear about them because they never make it into the public eye. For those of you keeping track — or just looking to kill a little time — check out DownRightNow, which reports on possible outages at many of the major cloud services. Most are minor, but even these seemingly innocuous outages are occurring more often as the infrastructure supporting these services is pushed to limits.
Add to the mix, the unpredictably strange and intense weather we have experienced including floods, earthquakes, winter storms, hurricanes, tornados, and tsunamis, and you paint a picture of increasing business risk.
The use of IT services, particularly in the cloud, is at an all-time high, so it’s natural that the risk to these services would increase as well. But as Pierre Dorion points out in his recent article, we don’t need to live in fear of the unanticipated with proper planning, especially since cost-effective and automated protection of IT services is within reach.
Although the increasing pressure put on the cloud may cause it to falter and crash on occasion, there is no reason to fear the sky is falling – as long as we are prepared.