What is a Cloud Outage?
A cloud outage is any time the cloud service is not available for use. This is also referred to as “downtime.” If you’ve experienced an outage with your cloud computing company, then you know it causes major pain and stress. During an outage you lose access to the software, data, and systems that allow you to meet the needs of your customers and clients.
You want the servers to come back up ASAP, yet sometimes you have to wait for hours – or in some historical cases days – for the servers to return to proper working order. This costs you time, money, and probably some very unhappy clients, yet you are not in control of how or when an outage occurs.
Outages do have their upside – they help providers iterate their process in order to offer better service moving forward, but that doesn’t ease the pain in the moment when an outage affects your business.
You may wonder why outages happen when your provider boasts a 99.9% uptime rate (meaning that the servers are in working order)? What causes these unexpected outages, and when should an outage or a series of outages make you think twice about the reliability of your cloud provider?
The truth is, there are many possible causes of server downtime – some of which are more avoidable than others. It’s important to know the cause of these outages so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it’s time to investigate other cloud computing companies.
What Causes Cloud Outages?
The amount of electricity needed to operate the servers at such a massive scale is not always available. While providers do everything they can to ensure that they are in a position to receive enough energy to power their infrastructure, they often are at the mercy of power plants and national grids.
Considering that the amount of energy needed could reach into the 100s of megawatts at any given time, it can happen that the amount of electricity needed is more than what’s available. When this happens, there is a power outage, and the server goes down.
Even with the best security in place, hackers can still find their way in, which can block legitimate users from accessing the system, and may overload the datacenters with false incoming traffic. Sometimes these infiltrations trigger a series of protective mechanisms intended to keep your data safe, but when this happens you will experience an outage until the issue is resolved.
To err is human, as they say, and to give a single false command can result in an outage. Cloud computing companies do what they can to reduce the frequency of human error, but it does still happen. This doesn’t mean devastation to the entire infrastructure, but it can be a pain to get everything back up and running expediently.
Software and Tech Issues
Enterprise-level data centers are complex to the point that they can have glitches and bugs that may not be revealed until there is a service-level issue that affects the end user – namely, you. While the problem can be resolved once it’s discovered, and may not be repeated, the issue can cause irritating downtime on your end that may go on for any length of time.
End-users are only responsible for paying for the services they use, but cloud providers invest large sums in maintenance and upgrades in order to keep everything running smoothly. Sometimes maintenance or upgrade downtime is scheduled in advance and is laid out clearly in your Service Level Agreement.
However, sometimes maintenance procedures require unexpected service interruption due to a full system restart. While nothing has gone wrong and is in fact being improved or maintained for your continued enjoyment, you will experience downtime during these periods that can still cause disruption in your day-to-day business affairs.
Experiencing Too Many Outages with Your Current Provider?
Unexpected outages happen, but do they have to happen to you? If you’re unhappy with the number of outages or the length of downtime you’ve experienced with your cloud hosting provider, give Infinitely Virtual a call at 1.866.257.8455.We are happy to discuss our 100% uptime rate, our powerful E.V.E. infrastructure, and how our customer-first solutions may be a better fit for your needs.