Is Your Business Vulnerable to Cloud-based Service Interruptions?

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The other day I had a rude awakening. I realized just how vulnerable I am: how vulnerable we all are, really.
Gem

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If you follow my work, you know I love to make, and publish, videos on YouTube. I had just released my video about the ZUGU case for the iPad. I went to check my YouTube analytics to see how everyone liked the video. The analytics looked great. I was very excited and then…I was logged out—for no reason.

I couldn’t log back into my YouTube account. Worse, I couldn’t log in into my Gmail or GDrive either. Even social media was down. I thought I had been hacked.

Frantically, I started researching (ironically via google.com) for “Google Server Down?“. It appeared I wasn’t the only person asking this question, as many were finding they couldn’t log into their Google-related accounts either.

I felt helpless. With Google down, there wasn’t anything I could do. I was cut off from the world and all the 22000+ Subscribers I love to interact with on YouTube.

All I could do was wait.

It was June 2, 2019. Google discovered “an issue” that affected the Google Cloud Platform. Unusually high congestion was causing problems across multiple platforms.

It took engineers several hours to resolve the issue. (Google later stated that the service disruption was caused by a configuration change that was incorrectly applied to more regions than it was meant to be applied to. This caused those regions to stop using more than half of their available network capacity, resulting in congestion.)

This made me think about how dependent everyone is on Cloud Services.

Cloud Services are indispensable in today’s online world. Cloud platforms make starting and running an online business more accessible. This has led to large increase in the variety of companies that use Google Cloud, and other public cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Oracle, and Microsoft Azure.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Is Your Business Vulnerable to Cloud-based Service Interruptions?”

  1. As anyone living in our ever more connected world, i am “conscious” of our dependency upon Cloud services for almost any aspect of our day to day life; communications, banking systems, traveling by train or flying, routing assistance with google map, purchasing and delivering goods, entertainment, … etc… you can name them ! Except when going to the bakery to buy a baguette (yes … i am french :-)) or to the grocery round the corner, there is almost nothing i can do without an account number, an ID and a password (grrr….).

    I don’t remember precisely about the Google Cloud outage, but i was probably upset by not being able to receive / transmit mails, or connect to one of those countless services that are accessed through “the google account” ( i try to avoid that but … i know i have too many accounts depending upon Google).

    Professionally the Company i am working for has its own Cloud Service for security purposes – but they probably depend to some extend (the less possible i guess) upon professional services offered by Microsoft or ISPs. As far as i am aware of, they never had more than one or two hours failures, but the cost is tremendous and entails a significant burden on our “unproductive costs”.

    For my personal life, i am very cautious and frantic about having my own documents saved on my own NAS (and sometimes on paper grrr… but less and less), but that requires to be extremely well organized … and guess what ? I don’t think i am ! (same on paper … i have to admit … digital is not the guilty part of it).

    To “conclude” about our dependency upon Cloud services i would pretend that we have always been dependent upon some kind of central repository. That was in large archive storage that took time to access and that was dependent upon lost, destruction by fire, etc… The Cloud world makes it faster and much easier to use by the average user.

    Wow i am to long !!

    Any way have fun always !

    1. Wow! I love your contribution to this topic, Erick!! I think you are absolutely right, that “we have always been dependent upon some kind of central repository”. People have the saying “Cloud is just another person’s computer”. However, as you stated it was always the case that we relied on external archives, libraries, etc. Knowing that the information is now duplicated and in Google’s case spread all over the world. If one server room burns down, there are still others left. The difference in security is, however, in the past people had to physically approach the archive and get the documents. Today, people can try to get in from all over the world sitting in their living room. This being said, there will always be positives and negatives I guess. But I am happy about all the positives a world in the cloud offers.

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