Colossal cloud outage No. 5: The Intuit double-downIntuit hit a rough patch last year when its cloud-connected services, including popular platforms like TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks, went offline twice within a single month. The worst case was a 36-hour outage in June. A power failure evidently caused things to go haywire, with the company's primary and backup systems getting knocked completely off the grid.
It only added insult to injury, then, when another apparent power failure hit Intuit weeks later. Among other issues, the second outage appeared to cause an abnormally high rate of obscenity-laden shouting.
"Twenty-five hours downtime is hard to swallow," one user tweeted at the time. "Passive, opaque and stiff communication from Intuit didn't help."
"The truth is, there are better solutions than a single cloud if you need absolute availability," says Chris Whitener, chief strategist of HP's Secure Advantage program. "It's not necessarily that you have to duplicate everything, but even putting one extra step in there -- maybe backing up crucial data yourself -- can make all the difference."
Colossal cloud outage No. 6: Microsoft's BPOS oopsIt's hard to be productive when your cloud-based productivity suite bites the virtual dust. That's what happened to organizations relying on Microsoft's business cloud offering just weeks ago: The service, named -- in true Microsoft style -- Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, started to stutter around May 10. Paying customers' email was delayed by as much as nine hours as a result.
Two days later, just when it looked like BPOS was in the clear, the delay returned and outgoing messages started getting stuck in the pipeline, too. If that weren't enough, Microsoft experienced a separate issue that prevented users from logging into its Web-based Outlook portal as well.
"I'd like to apologize to you, our customers and partners, for the obvious inconveniences these issues caused," Dave Thompson, corporate vice president for Microsoft Online Services, wrote in a blog.
"I'd also like to apologize for the obvious inconvenience of having to speak 15 syllables every time you say our service's ridiculous name," he probably should have added.