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Deadly Downtime: The Worst Network Outages Of 2013

When the network is down, nobody is happy. Take a lesson from these major outages in 2013 so we won't see them repeated in the new year.
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Connectivity issues haunt AWS 
Amazon Web Services prefers to experience major downtime on days of significance -- in 2012, it was Christmas Eve, and this year it was Friday the 13th. This time, 'network connectivity issues' in a single availability zone within Amazon's now-infamous US East region were the culprit, Amazon said, bringing down some Amazon cloud services as well as sites like Heroku, parts of Github, and CMSWire. Although repeated failures in Amazon's US East region seem to be related to aging infrastructure, David Linthicum of GigaOm explained, 'The network issue that caused the problems on Friday could easily be worked around with the right approaches and automation capabilities.'

Connectivity issues haunt AWS
Amazon Web Services prefers to experience major downtime on days of significance -- in 2012, it was Christmas Eve, and this year it was Friday the 13th. This time, "network connectivity issues" in a single availability zone within Amazon's now-infamous US East region were the culprit, Amazon said, bringing down some Amazon cloud services as well as sites like Heroku, parts of Github, and CMSWire. Although repeated failures in Amazon's US East region seem to be related to aging infrastructure, David Linthicum of GigaOm explained, "The network issue that caused the problems on Friday could easily be worked around with the right approaches and automation capabilities."

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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 1:46:23 PM
Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
Curious to know whether readers think their company networks are more secure today than a year ago? Share what your organization has done to prevent outages -- or what steps they should take in 2014.
WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 2:28:11 PM
BlackOuts
Let's hope these outages spur those who own and operate these -- and similar -- large scale networks to never rest on the laurels of 99.xxx Up time. The nation's economy depends more on more on these networks than ever before.

 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 3:48:05 PM
Re: Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
@Marilyn well, there's security from outages, but then there is another form of security -- the type that keeps customer credit card and bank information secure. Target had a major breach of security on that end in its stores. Supposedly online transactions were safe, but just the breach on the store end was enough for major headaches and possible lawsuits for the retailer.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 4:19:37 PM
Re: Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
That's a great point about Target Ariella. It's one thing to tune systems so they perform at 99.999 percent. But the hackers and cybercriminals seem to keep coming at us. We've had a few columns that address the need for IT to take a more offensive more posture agaist.  Check out The State of IT Security: It's Broken and Mobility & Cloud: A Double Whammy For Securing Data.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/23/2013 | 4:42:29 PM
Re: Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
Thanks, Marilyn. I'll have to take a look at it!
samicksha
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samicksha,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2013 | 3:12:01 AM
Re: Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
Not much but i can feel the improvement in my company network after we have moved our non-critical and non-productive applications to cloud with increasing IT LAN bandwidth, thank we did not have much critical outage in 2013 apart from a major outage in email services due to bandwidth breakdown.
Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Strategist
12/24/2013 | 9:33:33 AM
Re: Are your networks safer today than one year ago?
Samicksha, it's great to hear that you think your own corporate network has improved. It seems the challenges get far greater every day as cpmplexity, number of devices and threats to security increase. That makes it hard to make any network foolproof. In my opinion, if Google and Amazon are having outages, then it's going to be very difficult for any other organization to not experience the same thing.
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2013 | 10:10:36 AM
Plan B
This is why I like my Plan B – local data.  There are so many advantages to cloud solutions, but only if you can always get there.  From the office you have little issue, from mobile devices, you are influenced by location, load, weather, and where you are in the building.
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2013 | 10:24:41 AM
Re: Plan B
J-Brandt -- Is your Plan B a local data option as a redundancy to cloud storage. Or are you saying you prefer keeping all data local? 
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2013 | 10:28:33 AM
Re: Plan B
A combination of those two - depending on the type of data.
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