Even tech giants suffer outages

Chris

Chris
Written on 1st February 2021

Even tech giants suffer outages from time to time. What you can do about it? And why does this happen?

Given the world we currently live in, our online connectivity is as important as it ever has been. With many of us working remotely, “cloud” based software such as Teams, Zoom, Slack, Trello etc have become more important than ever.

What 2020 also showed us is that no company is 100% resilient to the odd technical issue, even some of the most well-known tech giants:

Microsoft – Azure UK South September 2020

One of Microsoft’s Azure regions, “UK South”, experienced a cooling failure which resulted in nearly 12 hours of downtime, as hardware was powered down to protect itself from overheating. This resulted in many businesses and products going offline, including the UK Government’s Covid19 dashboard!

Google – Gmail

Gmail and other Google services such as Drive and YouTube stopped working affecting most of their 1.5 billions users.

Virgin Media – UK broadband outage

UK broadband provider Virgin Media took heat from their customers, when they were unable to work from home and businesses unable to allow their work from home employees access the company network.

AWS – Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services went down, largely in North America, taking many other companies offline in the process, such as Adobe Spark and Roku.

What you can do about it

The simple answer is to not be reliant on one piece of infrastructure, also known as a “single point of failure”. A good example is DNS servers, where you will usually have two or more DNS servers for your domain name. If one goes offline due to an outage or maintenance the service continues to run on the second and third servers.

Reducing the number of single points of failure in your business can be expensive and ultimately becomes a commercial decision. For example, my Internet at home is supplied by Virgin Media. Whilst I would like it to remain up 100% of the time, I know it won’t be and I accept that a few times a year it will go down. I could take out a contract with BT too, but can’t justify paying twice. At Webnetism our connection to the Internet is critical. Every second we’re disconnected is costly, so we’ve heavily invested in a multi-carrier set-up to keep websites online, emails sending and our remote users connected.

The cloud does go down

As I’ve pointed out earlier in this post, the cloud does go down. In fact, many of the large providers offer fairly sub-standard SLAs. If their SLA doesn’t fit the bill, then consider taking the point of failure out the equation and spread your hosting across multiple providers.

Webnetism up-time

As a small business we are proud of the leading up-time we’re able to provide our managed customers, with financially backed SLAs with a genuine 99.999% uptime that we deliver. We endeavour to answer every phone call within 5 rings – by a human being, and we will always return your call or email within one business day where we can.

If you’re not getting the support that you need, get in touch, we can help.

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