The Lighter Side Of The Cloud: Someday
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Stuff
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Delegation

Should You Be Concerned? A List of Recent Cloud Computing Failures – Intuit Goes Down

UPDATE: June 2nd, Intuit Goes Down…

Based on a recent visitor tip to CloudTweaks.

FYI — Intuit is in the midst of another payroll server outage right now (June 2, 2011) and it has been going on since noon yesterday, June 1st.  Hundreds of small business owners are outraged over the lack of service by Intuit and the fact that their planned Friday payroll will not be available as a result of Intuit’s lack of sufficient disaster planning.

———————————————————————————————————————

In the second and concluding part of this article, I look into some of the recent cloud computing failures that have called into question the much-touted reliability of this emergent technology. For the first part, see Should You Be Concerned? A List of Recent Cloud Computing Failures – I.

1. Hosting.com (June 1, 2010)

Hosting.com, in their words, “offers managed dedicated hosting solutions, including domain name sales, to businesses.” However, their claim of providing “always-on” service suffered a blow when their data center at New Jersey went down for two hours. The company attributed the cause to a software bug in a Cisco switch.

2. Twitter (June 11, 2010)

Twitter needs no introduction. Also, sporadic failures, usually lasting a few minutes, are nothing new for this site that made “microblogging” part of the popular lexicon. However, in June last year, this problem became increasingly acute because of what the company described as the Soccer World Cup phenomenon, when traffic was much higher than normal. Again, this raised questions about cloud computing’s scalability attribute.

3. Skype (December 22, 2010)

The problem is best described by what the company posted on its official blog:

Skype isn’t a network like a conventional phone or IM network — instead, it relies on millions of individual connections between computers and phones to keep things up and running. Some of these computers are what we call ‘supernodes’ – they act a bit like phone directories for Skype. If you want to talk to someone, and your Skype app can’t find them immediately (for example, because they’re connecting from a different location or from a different device) your computer or phone will first try to find a supernode to figure out how to reach them.

Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of supernodes available. Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.”

4. Hotmail (December 30, 2010)

This was a precursor to the bigger outage that was to happen to its biggest competitor two months later. Information from around 17,000 user accounts was suddenly deleted, and it took Microsoft two days to restore normalcy. Improper load balancing between servers was blamed.

5. Gmail (February 27, 2011)

When the most popular email service in the world goes down, even if for only a few hours, lots of people are affected and the news spreads fast. Also, the inevitable questions about cloud computing’s reliability crops up soon enough. This issue was covered in an earlier article (See: Gmail Outage – Is Cloud Computing To Blame? ).

6. Intuit (March 28, 2011)

Intuit is a company that develops financial and tax preparation software and related services for small businesses, accountants and individuals. Two months ago, several of its popular services like QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Payroll and Intuit Payments Solutions went down in a cloud computing outage that the company blamed on faulty maintenance, effectively human error, much like Amazon. Unfortunately for Intuit, this was the second such issue within a year, a similar problem having occurred in June 2010.

7. Epsilon (April 1, 2011)

This was covered in an article here (See: What Effect Will the Epsilon Data Theft have on Cloud Computing?). Epsilon, a personal mailman of big companies (in other words, one who managed their email communications), communicated that there had been a data breach where emails and names of their customers’ customers were compromised.

In conclusion, there’s no denying that errors occur, equipment goes down and technology fails. However, as I have stated before, cloud computing as a technology is still in the growing stage; consequently, some problems are to be expected. The best way to react is to use them as learning experiences and coming up with industry best practices to prevent such occurrences in future.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Recent

Surprising Facts and Stats About Your Online Security

Surprising Facts and Stats About Your Online Security

Surprising Facts and Stats – Online Security It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when browsing the web. As more and more devices join the internet of things, the risk of becoming a victim of a criminal cyber gang is increasing – we have more unsecured access points and offer would-be…

World Backup Day: Understand The Data You Are Protecting

World Backup Day: Understand The Data You Are Protecting

World Backup Day: Understand The Data You Are Protecting Did you know that 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute? What about the fact that 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus every month? Thanks to World Backup Day, an independent initiative that was started in 2011, awareness is being raised about…

The E-Learning Market – Cloud Computing Adoption

The E-Learning Market – Cloud Computing Adoption

The E-Learning Market  We’ve talked a fair bit about e-Learning and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) technologies here on CloudTweaks over the past number of years. The industry is expected to continue to grow at a brisk pace as more and more firms and educational institutions start to adopt cloud based services.  Docebo has an excellent…

Popular

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

Cloud Infographic – What Is The Internet of Things?

What Is The Internet of Things? “We’re still in the first minutes of the first day of the Internet revolution.”  – Scott Cook The Internet of Things (IOT) and Smart Systems are based on the notions of Sensors, Connectivity, People and Processes. We are creating a new world to view and measure anything around us through…

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations

Unusual Clandestine Cloud Data Centre Service Locations Everyone knows what the cloud is, but does everybody know where the cloud is? We try to answer that as we look at some of the most unusual data centre locations in the world. Under the Eyes of a Deity Deep beneath the famous Uspenski Cathedral in the…

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup

Cloud Computing Services Perfect For Your Startup Chances are if you’re working for a startup or smaller company, you don’t have a robust IT department. You’d be lucky to even have a couple IT specialists. It’s not that smaller companies are ignoring the value and importance of IT, but with limited resources, they can’t afford…

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors for Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

Sponsored Posts

How CYOD Helps Make Hybrid Cloud More Productive And More Secure

How CYOD Helps Make Hybrid Cloud More Productive And More Secure

How CYOD Helps Make Hybrid Cloud More Productive and More Secure Recent analysis by IDG/DELL has found that companies are expecting “increased IT efficiencies” and “lowering total cost of ownership (TCO) with optimized application delivery” as they move toward hybrid cloud and private cloud deployment. In short, they expect things to work better and cost…

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising