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
Increased network error rates and latencies for the APIs. Impacted instances were unreachable via public IP addresses.
USA and Canada users of Amazon.com were not able to connect to the site for 25 minutes.
Hardware outage in one of the storage systems serving 1% of Yahoo email users
Affected nearly 1 million users for about a week
(Google.com, YouTube, Google Drive, and Gmail)
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.
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
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
Technical issues which were not explained by experts
The bank’s online and mobile payment systems went down
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!