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/

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

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Contributors

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Cloud Infographic – Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare

Wearable Tech And Preventative Healthcare There are so many exciting new opportunities available to utilize wearable technology in the future.  Areas such as nanotechnology disease monitoring, crowdfunding to wearable accessories are some excellent examples of the potential. Estimates vary, but appear to suggest that the market will produce between $14-50 Billion over the next few years. Included below

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups

Storage Considerations for SharePoint Backups Wednesday, October 29, 2014 @ 9:00 am/12:00pm ET. Backup and Restore of a SharePoint environment can be a complex endeavor as the product consists of multiple components running at various tiers, each with their own backup and restore requirements. In addition, SharePoint documents are stored as Binary Large Objects (BLOBs) in

OpenDNS Deployment Leads to Twenty-Fold Decrease in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu

OpenDNS Deployment Leads to Twenty-Fold Decrease in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu

Decreases in Malware Infections at Hamamatsu OpenDNS, a leading provider of cloud-delivered security, today announced that it has enabled Hamamatsu, a Japanese manufacturer of optical sensor technologies, to virtually eliminate malware infections across its U.S. Read the source article at Finance News About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with

IBM and Microsoft – What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud?

IBM and Microsoft – What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud?

What Are They Doing With The Hybrid Cloud? “Microsoft is committed to helping enterprise customers realize the tremendous benefits of cloud computing across their own systems, partner clouds and Microsoft Azure,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president,Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft. “With this … Read the source article at CNNMoney About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst