5 Serious Cloud Failures & Disasters of 2011

by Cloudways
December 29, 2011

Year 2011 has been a challenging one for cloud computing service providers. It is not that they did not managed and monitored cloud related issues properly; it is simply that outages can occur at any point of time despite monitoring cloud servers so thoroughly and keenly. Nevertheless, five cloud computing outages in the year 2011 include reputed and popular names like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

5. Google Doc’s September Disaster

Although, Google Doc is a public cloud platform where users can upload, share and access information, it still can face troubleshooting issues. An industry example can help you explain entire Google September outage in a better way.

Example: A managed cloud provider that used Google Docs extensively. As Google Docs is known for its flexible public cloud architecture, most of the company’s daily tasks were performed with the help of using Google Docs. Activities like arranging important events, conferences, sharing files and documents amongst team members or clients at the time employees are out of office, Google Docs helped out big time.

However, there came a day when Google Docs suffered approximately an hour outage due to which work in terms of daily tasks came to a standstill. The word processor faced a downtime at 10 pm in the UK. It also made US organizations to suffer a lot from it as they could not access or share files with others.

This proved to be a major setback for Managed  Cloud Provider in terms of monetary losses company suffered as well as their reputation in the market.cloud failures

Solutions to this problem are that organizations should be always prepared for a disaster recovery and keep their clients well informed about the possibilities of cloud downtime so that they can get away from the embarrassment at later stages.

4. Action Replay for Google Docs.

Yet another cloud outage erupted with a bang when Google Docs collapsed in the Google HQ. Although, the problem that affected the San Francisco and Budapest regions of the US were instantly handled and rectified, there is no specific reason why such an outage happened for the second time.

As conveyed to Cloud Pro, Google work force said that “Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

3. Microsoft’s Office 365 Cloud Disaster

Recently, in the month of August and September, Microsoft launched its Office 365 cloud productivity suite, but just few months after its launch media broke the news of its collapse that shattered hopes of Microsoft applications users. The company also experienced a global outage with DNS servers falling into trash.

With all these examples, it is proved that outages or technical faults like these is a common affair with even a flexible environment like cloud computing. The only thing organizations need to take care is the fact keep working on improving and enhancing their in-house IT infrastructures.

2. Bad Weather Conditions can Result in Cloud Disaster

According to the reports, Dublin invites several European and US countries to enter its territories for availing cloud services. Nevertheless, with all the facts in mind, the country’s prevailing bad weather conditions are also not hidden.

It all happened in the month of August that both Microsoft and Amazon’s cloud data centers had blown off by a thunder lighting strike. Both the cloud servers collapsed because of it, which led big and small organizations to suffer hugely. Servers didn’t give any access and remained non-functional for two consecutive days. Companies not only suffered monetary losses, but also had hard time in recovering.

1. Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute Outage

Yet another cloud disaster occurred when Amazon EC2 or Elastic Cloud Compute hit the East coast of the US making big time players like the Reddit, Hootsuite, Quora and Sqaurefoot suffer tremendously. To add more to its numbers, approximately 170 SMBs also suffered a major setback as they found it extremely tough to run their businesses during an 8 hour downtime that Amazon EC2 cloud showed to them.

As per the reports there were frequent and timely updates regarding the troubleshooting that erupted from Amazon, it put almost all the IT organizations running their businesses or daily task on that platform to a standstill. Thus, one thing or lesson organizations must take from this incidence is that always keep a back plan for important clients in order to keep and maintain a healthy relationship with them.


After knowing so much on cloud and its cons, one is sure that it is the organizations that have to put in extra efforts for running their businesses smooth. Better disaster recovery and data backup plans and working efficiently with ample presence of mind is the only trick to win the race of business competition and set an example for others at the same time.

Managed Cloud Services help you plan a better disaster recovery, so that no business hours are lost. Spreading the data and backup in different geographical regions and multiple cloud providers are the most easy way to reduce downtime and ensure 100% Service level even at the time of disaster.


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About Cloudways

Cloudways is a European MSP that provides custom cloud design, deployment and management solutions on leading cloud providers.

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  • Naina

    Well written article. It was really useful for me for my project on cloud computing.

  • cloudways

    We’re glad to hear that, Naina. Thanks for your interest in our Blog. We publish around 2-3 articles every week on Cloud Computing, IT Security and Industry trends. Stay tuned with us!