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Verizon's 48 hour scheduled outage puts customers in a bind

By Donna Donnowitz
January 7, 2015

Last year was rife with major data center outages. Problems with Azure caused multiple instances of bad press for Microsoft in 2014, while Rackspace, Amazon Web Services and IBM's data centers were taken down by a single Xen hypervisor update. Though these outages created cause for customer complaints, more griping is likely headed Verizon's way for the 2-day outage the company had scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 10. By cutting off companies from vital enterprise data and apps for an entire weekend, Verizon will put many of its clients in a vulnerable condition. The company's impending 48-hour downtime reminds data center managers that having a storage backup plan is always a smart idea.

Cloud community turned off by big outages
There are numerous elements of the planned Verizon outage that put a bad taste in the mouth of cloud service customers, even more so than the usual long-term outage. First, Verizon has yet to release a specific reason for the outage, let alone identify why the unavoidable downtime is scheduled for two days - typically such updates have not extended past 24 hours in duration, according to Data Center Dynamics. Cloud vendors are required to publish detailed information about the scheduling and availability of their planned outages unless the update is related to fixing a weakness threatening network-critical software, so Verizon's silence on the matter points at a possible reason for the outage. Unfortunately, this conclusion has not inspired greater confidence in cloud service customers.

How "enterprise" is enterprise?
Silicon Angle noted that many of Verizon's customers have taken to Twitter in an effort to express their displeasure with the cloud vendor's 48-hour maintenance period. Many suggested that Verizon's ability to market its services as an "enterprise cloud" has been invalidated by an outage without rolling windows of access. This critique may very well be valid. Regardless, there's a lot that data center decision makers can learn from Verizon's PR fiasco. Namely that even companies with the most secure data storage options should consider a backup strategy. Simple solutions like storing copies of enterprise apps at a second site via remote console server can help keep a company's business going even when their cloud vendors let them down.

Perle's wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers and network administrators with secure remote management of any device with a serial console port. Plus, they are the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market with the advanced security functionality needed to easily perform secure remote data center management and out-of-band management of IT assets from anywhere in the world.


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