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The top ten outages of 2013

Neverfail has published a list which highlights 2013's top outages from around the world. While the past 12 months saw several noteworthy outages, those at the top tipped the scale with the overall impact their downtime caused – in lost revenue, expansive reach and damaged reputations.

The top ten outages of 2013 according to Neverfail were:

1. Microsoft’s Windows Azure

Date: October 30, 2013
Duration: Over 20 hours
Failure: A sub-component of the system failed worldwide
Impact: Every single Azure region was affected (including West US, West Europe, Southeast Asia, South Central US, North Europe, North Central US, East Asia, and East US)

2. Google

Date: August 16, 2013
Duration: less than 5 minutes
Failure: All of its services went down
Fallout: The volume of global Internet traffic plunged by about 40 percent

3. Amazon Web Services

Date: Sept. 13, 2013
Duration: Under 3 hours
Failure: Connectivity issues affected a single availability zone, disrupting a notable portion of Internet activity.
Reminder: If you rely heavily on the cloud for your infrastructure, have a failover plan.


Date: August 22, 2013
Duration: 3 hours
Failure: A software bug, followed by inadequate built-in redundancy capabilities, triggered a massive trading halt in the US.
Impact: With all the exchanges dependent on one another, this outage had an impact across the globe

5. OTC Markets Group Inc.

Date: November 7, 2013
Duration: over 5 hours
Failure: A network failure due to a “lack of current quotation information,” prompted a complete shutdown in trading of over-the-counter stocks in the US.
Impact: The shutdown happened on one of the biggest trading sessions this year as Twitter Inc.’s shares debuted. While the disruption only paused less significant equities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it tested investors’ nerves following a series of technical mishaps since August and exacerbated concerns about problems in the electronic infrastructure underpinning US exchanges.

6. HealthCare.gov

Date: October 27-28, 2013
Duration: 16+ hours
Failure: A service outage at a Verizon Terremark data center caused downtime for HealthCare.gov., the trouble-plagued online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act
Impact: With all of America watching the progress of the trouble-plagued online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, a data center outage only added more fuel to the fire.

7. Amazon.com

Date: January 31, 2013
Duration: 49 minutes
Failure: Internal issues caused the Amazon.com home page to go down, displaying an error message.
Impact: The outage demonstrated the extremely high value of uptime to services such as Amazon. Analysts calculated that one hour of interrupted service may have translated to $5 million in lost revenue.

8. Microsoft – Hotmail and Outlook.com

Date: March 13, 2013
Duration: nearly 16 hours
Failure: A firmware update caused the company’s servers to overheat; Hotmail and Outlook.com both suffered a loss of service.
Impact: Microsoft admitted that it required some human intervention to bring the services back online, thus delaying the restoration attempt further. Microsoft’s online service reputation took a big hit.

9. Google Drive

Date: March 18-20, 2013
Duration: 17 hours total
Failure: A glitch in the company’s network control software caused latency and recovery problems. Users faced slow load times or full-on timeouts while trying to access their Drive documents and files.
Impact: As much as one-third of the customer base was impacted, leading to a virtual hue-and-cry across the Internet.

10. Google’s Gmail

Date: September 23, 2013
Duration: 12 hours
Failure: Prolonged slow download times were triggered by a dual network failure.
Impact: The outage affected 29 percent of users. For 1.5 percent of Gmail messages, the delay in downloading large attachments was up to two hours. While its impact may not have been catastrophic, the outage at Gmail is a potential cause for concern, especially as businesses are turning to Google and other providers to run cloud-based email and SaaS.

View a related infographic.

•Date: 14th January 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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