Why are mobile networks dropping like flies?

Last week, Orange France’s mobile network tanked, knocking out the mobile phones of millions of subscribers. This week the same thing happened to O2 in the U.K. U.S. carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile aren’t immune either. Global networks have developed a big signaling problem.

After power outages, cloud insurance looks even better

Last week’s outages at Microsoft and Amazon Web Services reiterated a very important lesson in cloud computing: Even the best-laid plans won’t stand up to an act of god or faulty electrical infrastructure. That’s why the burgeoning field of cloud insurance looks even better than ever.

Today in Cloud

The freak lightning strike blamed for knocking out European cloud operations at both Microsoft and Amazon earlier this week was apparently not guilty. Data Center Knowledge is now reporting Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board as pinning the outage on equipment failure, not weather; “our initial assessment of lightning as the cause has now been ruled out,” according to an EBS statement. This should lead customers to ask far harder questions of both Amazon and Microsoft than they have so far. An outage caused by freak weather is possibly understandable, but for routine failure of equipment at one utility power provider to bring down two flagship cloud data centers is ridiculous. Where were the surge protectors? Why couldn’t the backup generators cope with a fluctuation in voltage? Where was the secondary source of mains power? And days later, a few of Amazon’s customers are still feeling the effects; the AWS Status site reported that, as of 01:10 Pacific, “Less than 2% of the affected volumes are still in the process of having their recovery snapshot created.” Not good. Not good at all.

Does Groupon’s e-mail outage expose a lack of brand loyalty?

The service provider responsible for Groupon’s daily e-mail deals, suffered a server outage this weekend that looks to have had a staggering effect on Groupon sales in several cities. This seems to play up Groupon’s overall dependence on emails as the primary method of subscriber interaction.

The Good, the OK & the Ugly of Cloud Architecture

The four-day-long Amazon Web Services outage was no doubt a traumatic experience for many customers, but that didn’t have to be the case. There were plenty of users that were not affected, were minimally affected or that acted in a hurry to resolve the problem.

Here’s What Amazon’s Outage Looked Like

Amazon Web Services has put the outage behind them and now are getting back to normal, according to the latest status update from Amazon Web Services on its Service Health Dashboard. Performance data from Cedexis shows what it meant in terms of network latency.

AWS Claims ‘Significant Progress’ on Hours-long Outage

Amazon Web Services claims to be making significant progress in restoring functionality to a large number of EC2, Elastic Block Storage and Relational Database Service instances that went down due to a “networking event” in the early-morning hours and affected a number of popular web sites.