Cloud Outage: Why do it happen?

Despite the sheer size and scope of cloud technology, cloud outages can’t be avoided. It’s not an infallible technology, despite it being robust and reliable. But when cloud computing goes down, what is actually happening? What causes the outages to happen? And can it take us all down with it? If you’re new to cloud technology, the prospect of a cloud outage can be pretty unnerving.

In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about cloud outages. We’ll define what they are and why it’s important to get to grips with them. We’ll also provide a few examples of what can happen when systems go awry.

What is a cloud outage?

Cloud outages are periods of time when cloud computing applications and services hosted on the cloud are unavailable. During an outage, users can experience slow response times, connection issues, or total service disruption.

Cloud outages have a significant impact on businesses. When services become unavailable, organizations lose money as customers are unable to complete their transactions. In addition, these businesses cannot monitor key performance metrics which can lead to inefficiencies and other operational issues.

Cloud outages can also create reputational damage as customers may become frustrated with the disruptions and the lack of communication from the organization. Finally, organizations will face legal consequences if a cloud outage causes data or privacy breaches.

A cloud outage can have a significant financial impact on an organization if not properly handled. Not only will there be immediate costs related to restoring the affected areas, but organizations also risk losing potential revenue due to the interruption in service. This could also lead to long-term effects such as a decrease in customer satisfaction and possibly even litigation from disgruntled clients.

Additionally, organizations may need to invest more heavily in their infrastructure or risk further outages that could result in financial losses. It is therefore important for companies to invest in robust backup and recovery plans that minimize the potential for extended downtime during outages.

Cloud Outage Causes

Cloud outages result from a number of causes both within and beyond the provider’s control. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • Power outage: Power-related issues cause 43% of all cloud outages with significant downtime and financial loss. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failures are the number one cause of power incidents.
  • Cyber security: Cyber attacks such as the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) overload data centers with incoming traffic. In that case, end-users cannot access the service via the same networking infrastructure. Other threats (such as ransomware or an SQL injection) may force the provider to shut services down and remedy the issue offline.
  • Human error: A single incorrect command or a mistake with cabling can bring the entire IT infrastructure down. Human errors cause both physical and software issues that lead to outages.
  • Technical problems: Cloud services rely on a complex system of hardware tech, so an error that manages to stay under the radar long enough can lead to a cloud outage.
  • Software bugs: Glitches and bugs are common in cloud data centers. The usual culprits behind issues are data format bugs, fault-related bugs, timing bugs, and constant value bugs.
  • Networking issues: Issues associated with network communication and third-party telco partners are another common cause of cloud outages.
  • Maintenance: Scheduled maintenance and system upgrades sometimes lead to an outage, although end-users typically know about these occurrences in advance.
  • Environmental causes: Events such as hurricanes, fires, lightning storms, and earthquakes also trigger cloud downtime, either by putting the facility in danger or by damaging the region’s power grid.
  • More complex deployments: More intricate deployment models (such as hybrid, distributed, and multi-cloud) complicate data center operations, creating more opportunities for errors.

cloud outage

Help is at hand

With cloud technology, the good outweighs the bad. And the opportunity and services give organizations many options. So when it comes to cloud outages – they’re certainly something you don’t want to happen, but they shouldn’t be a reason not to invest in the cloud or cloud migration. There are things you can do to prepare against cloud outages. These can help reduce outage impact.

For starters:

  • Make a plan of who to contact and what to do when something happens. Simply having a plan in place can change how quickly you can resolve any issues in the future because you have a protocol to follow and can work on autopilot.
  • Actually, try it out. Make a regular and quick playthrough of the plan with all stakeholders. These fire drills bake in the process for the relevant people, find hiccups in your plan before they can really do damage in a live fire, and normalize the processes and protocols. You can always expand based on what you learn as well.


Cloud outages can be a major threat to your business operations if preventive measures are not taken. By understanding the features of a cloud outage, you start to understand the importance of maintaining high standards in service design and performance.

Leveraging multicloud deployments helps you to control and contain any negative effects of an outage while taking full advantage of the cloud. By spreading out an organization’s workloads across different cloud providers, they are able to reduce their exposure to any single point of failure that could otherwise cause outages.

Furthermore, having access to multiple points of access can also help limit the scope of any outages by enabling organizations to switch over quickly should an incident occur. This helps them ensure continued operations and can minimize the potential financial consequences associated with a cloud outage.

Monitoring tools and good recovery plans are also important aspects that need to be taken into consideration for better reliability. All in all, taking these few proactive steps can help prevent cloud outages from disrupting your business’s routines and operations.


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