Microsoft, Google Downtime Offers Reminder That Cloud Isn’t Perfect

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Hardly a week goes by that headlines aren’t touting some tale of a major cloud services provider suffering an outage that leaves customers hanging for hours or days.

In recent years, massive cloud disruptions have hit all the major players, fromMicrosoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and

A pair of massive service outages involving two of the largest cloud players this month comes at a time when the industry is arguably on the verge of eradicating any lingering concerns about the security or reliability of public cloud.

And even as reliability increases on paper, the stream of reports can make it seem like there’s no shortage of new cloud crashes.

“There’s a paradoxical dynamic taking place in the cloud: while outages have become less common, their impact is more widespread and damaging than ever,” Joseph Tsidulko wrote for CRN in “The 10 Biggest Cloud Outages of 2015.”

In one illustration of the potential impact of a recent cloud service outage, customers lost about four hours of data when a database instance became corrupted in May and was repaired by restoring a prior backup.

Experts agree that unscheduled IT downtime is unavoidable, regardless of whether on-premises or in the cloud.

Today, cloud service status websites and dashboards make it easier than ever to monitor uptime and outages for all the major providers.

In last week’s outages, Google’s Apps for Work went down Sept. 14, rendering U.S. and U.K. customers unable to use the software-as-a-service products for about 90 minutes.

The following day, on Sept. 15, Microsoft suffered a large-scale disruption of its Azure Cloud Platform that crippled critical components, like databases and backup, for nearly two hours.

The implications of public cloud reliability are immense, with many of the largest businesses on the planet migrating increasingly significant parts of their businesses out of their own data centers.

Complete information about all cloud outages is available in real time on the status pages for Microsoft and Google.

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