It has apparently become the inevitable phenomenon in enterprise networks – outages! Inasmuch as we do not want them occurring, they just seem to strike like lightning where we least expect and when we are unprepared – causing disruption of business services, loss of time and money, and the additional cost of repair and redemption. Even the biggest and most reputed companies across all industry sectors and geographies experience network outage from time to time, and it is the network administration and IT teams that bear the brunt of the outage aftermath.


2013 was no better than the years before. Let’s take a quick peek into the annals of last year and revisit some of the biggest and most disruptive network outages that impacted corporations. We’ll also learn why they happened and look at the damages incurred.


Company / Website

When the Outage Happened

Reason for Outage

Impact & Losses


Sporadic outages occurring between Oct and Dec 2013

Network infrastructure failure, cloud failure, maintenance and backup errors, etc.

Users unable to use online service

Amazon Web Services

Sep 2013

Increased network error rates and latencies for the APIs. Impacted instances were unreachable via public IP addresses.

USA and Canada users of were not able to connect to the site for 25 minutes.

Yahoo Mail

Dec 2013

Hardware outage in one of the storage systems serving 1% of Yahoo email users

Affected nearly 1 million users for about a week


(, YouTube, Google Drive, and Gmail)

Aug 2013

Experts say it should probably be a physical infrastructure problem given the size of the outage.

Outage lasted between 1 and 5 minutes. Cause an estimated 40% worldwide traffic drop, and costed Google around $545,000 in revenue.


Aug 2013

Data processor failure due to a software bug led the backup system to crash and downing the network connectivity

Stock trading halted for three hours

Time Warner Cable

Oct 2013

Equipment failure at network facilities in the north-eastern U.S.

New York users of Time Warner Cable service lost internet connectivity and Web access for up to 24 hours

Bank of America

Feb 2013

Technical issues which were not explained by experts

The bank’s online and mobile payment systems went down


In addition to the above, we had so many short-term outages and interruptions in Web services including sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.


Certainly these were debacles that happened to even large companies and their data center networks, but that doesn’t mean you have to expect an outage any time soon in your network. Proactive network availability and performance monitoring is the only way forward to ensure you are alerted immediately when there’s network downtime, hardware failure, or any performance issue on your network devices.


Monitor your network round the clock and stay vigilant for those unforeseen network outages. 2014 can be saved from network outage nightmares!