Reliving the Biggest Online Outages of 2013

By Dennis McCafferty
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    Microsoft's Windows Azure (Oct. 30)

    Microsoft's Windows Azure (Oct. 30)

    Duration: More than 20 hours. What happened: A subcomponent of the system failed worldwide, affecting every Azure region, including much of the U.S., Europe and Asia.

How significant were the biggest Internet outages of 2013? Well, they were damaging enough to bring to a standstill a major U.S. government initiative, the world's financial markets, and cloud services from elite technology companies. And email shutdowns from the world's top providers exasperated users—many of them small business owners who lost sales due to the abrupt service interruption. The following list illustrates these and other notable incidents from last year, as compiled by Neverfail, a business continuity company. The list demonstrates how every facet of our global society—the financial world, governments, commerce and our personal lives—is now dependent on connectivity. It also reveals how much is at stake for organizations that suffer one of these crises, as literally millions of dollars can be lost before the problems are resolved. In addition, with companies increasingly turning to cloud-based resources to perform "faster, better, cheaper," such outages can draw immense public criticism, greatly straining customer loyalty. Neverfail ranked the list according to the number of users affected, the length of downtime, financial loss or potential impact on revenue, and geographical reach.

This article was originally published on 2014-01-13
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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