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IT Operations

Top 5 IT Outages in History Of The Internet

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Here's something that surely keeps us all awake at night: outages.

Outages and everything that might follow, as a crazy tsunami wave, as a dark eternal night, as an apocalypse, as a…. well, enough with the cheesy metaphors, you get the point. The point of no return, of sometimes hard, manual, 24/7 line of work of getting the show back on the road and restoring the system back to normal.


A bit background, if you may:

An Internet blackout or Internet power outage can happen because of cyberattacks, censorship, and catastrophes or mistakes. Interruptions of submarine communications cables may make power outages or log jams extensive regions. Regions with an underdeveloped Internet infrastructure are more exposed to an outage risk because of little quantities of high-capacity links. While the Internet has a hub-like principal structure that makes it vigorous to arbitrary losses of nodes yet it is at the same time delicate to targeted attacks on key parts such as the exceptionally associated hubs or nodes.



For a long time or so now, the Internet has been a standard communications mode, and its history has been colored with cases of big-time crashes, frequently (much) more than just a Gmail blip or the occasional 503. The most well-known cases of unexpected downtime have a lot in like manner: They generally last longer than anybody expected and get faulted for cryptic technical glitches. So here you have it: The top 5 all timer internet complete and utter colossal catastrophes, no IT person wants to ever replicate.


#5: 19 hours of AOL-error, August 1996 


As the organization that was synonymous with online services in the mid-90s, AOL service was down for 19 hours because of issues with the installation of high capacity switches inside the local area network. The service's 6.3 million clients got compensations for the downtime. AOL endured different awkward blackouts in the era, for example, service issues have been a big concern for a considerable length of time at AOL and after that essentially got over having them, however, a 5-hour email meltdown in 2006 felt like old circumstances arose from the past once again.


#4: 24 hours of downtime. eBay, June 1999


At that point as now, the world's greatest online auction webpage and their service was down for a whole day, an incident which is allegedly considered the greatest outage in online history at the time. The issue came about because of a breakdown in the software that was utilized to list things available to be purchased also update bids. They persisted it was not an issue with the site being strained to limit and supposed it was not apparent why it had failed. Matters were muddled further by the way that eBay hadn't exactly wrapped up a backup system. eBay lost an expected $3-5 million (!) in sales and was compelled to offer repayments, expand auctions, and defer charges as an apology to vendors whose auctions were influenced. This blackout was one of a few disastrous ones that eBay endured in 1998 and 1999.


#3: 7 days of downtime, MSN Messenger, July 2001 

The RIP'd instant-messaging of the world's biggest software organization and their service were down for a few clients, for no less than seven days.  The issue occurred because of an extremely uncommon arrangement of conditions when one of their database servers had a disc controller crash. Several troubled clients abandoned to AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and some other IM administrations. MSN Messenger additionally went down in 2003 and 2005.


#2: 2 weeks of downtime, MobileMe, July 2008 


Apple's administration for syncing data on iPhones, Macs, & PCs and their service was down for half a month of in any event sporadic issues for a few clients. The issue came about because of different technical gremlins, comprising significantly more activity to their servers than they expected, a bug that was keeping MobileMe IMAP mail folders from matching up accurately between the web application and Mac OS X Mail or Outlook, also a major issue with one of their mail servers. Apple broadened all MobileMe accounts by a month and alleged that the MobileMe launch wasn't equal to Apple's benchmarks in a generally distributed internal update and put another Apple executive responsible for the administration. It gives the idea that the most noticeably awful of MobileMe's troubles may behind it, however protesting proceeds.


#1: Billions affected, Gmail Outage, August 2008 


Google's email service was down for just a few hours, which is generally short as Internet blackouts go. Although, when one of the world's most well-known mail frameworks disappears even quickly, hundreds of millions of very angry individuals were extremely bothered and needed to share their disappointment. This created an unprecedented discourse regarding the huge crisis of the large e-mail service.


A few other popular outages worth mentioning:

Netcom Blackout Of June 1996 : An early ISP that was at one point the third biggest one in America has a 13 hours outage.

Netflix Outage Of July 2007: The Web's predominant DVD rental administration having an 18 hours blackout.

Skype Blackout Of August 2007: The spearheading aInternet phone call service gained by eBay in 2005 plus utilized by millions around the globe and having an outage around two days.

Just to show you that it's not necessarily about how long a service was down but what the collateral impact was on the end users, how the company deals with the issue in real time and more importantly, and how quickly the company got to the root cause of the issue, amended accordingly and prevented similar issues from occurring again in the future.

In the end of the day, no organization wants to find themselves in this dubious hall of fame, putting the words "outage" and the company name in the same sentence or be constantly monitored by websites such as 'currentlydown'. Every organization should have backup plans and a manual for catastrophes which all parties involved are synced in- front and back end. Do this, or otherwise the next time might be …. you.



Loom Systems delivers an AIOps-powered log analytics solution, Sophie, to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom collects logs and metrics from the entire IT stack, continually monitors them, and gives a heads-up when something is likely to deviate from the norm. When it does, Loom sends out an alert and recommended resolution so DevOps and IT managers can proactively attend to the issue before anything goes down.
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