Outage Alert: Top 10 Downtime Incidents of 2021
2021 has been an eye-opening year for both businesses and consumers who use popular websites and applications. We have all seen notable increases in the frequency and severity of outages as dependency on internet infrastructure grows – with no signs of slowing down.
With our reliance on automation and connectivity expected to increase in 2022 – let’s review some of the top internet outages and website downtime incidents of 2021.
Amazon Web Services
Date: December 7, 2021
Down: 6.5 hours
Impacted: Amazon infrastructure, Netflix, Slack, Whole Foods
Is AWS down? Website Status Check
Post Mortem: https://aws.amazon.com/message/12721/
AWS (Amazon Web Services)’s historic outage occurred on December 7, 2021 and lasted roughly 6 and a half hours. The breadth of Amazon and its reach caused not only their warehouse and delivery operations to stop, but also impacted many websites owned and affiliated with the company, such as Twitch.tv and Whole Foods, as well as Netflix, Slack, and other major tech companies.
Date: November 27, 2021
Down: 2 hours
Is GitHub down? Website Status Check
GitHub, a tool used by companies like Apple, Amazon and Google and thousands of developers, suffered an outage November 27, 2021 that lasted 2 hours. This halted operations, API requests, packages, pages, and pull requests and highlights the interconnected nature of downtime.
Date: October 4, 2021
Down: 6 hours
Impacted: Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp
Is Facebook down? Website Status Check
Facebook and its subsidiaries, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp all experienced outages lasting about 6 hours on October 4, 2021. Although mostly social media applications were affected, this outage stopped small businesses who use the platform and cut off employees using these platforms for internal collaboration.
Date: June 8, 2021
Down: 1 hour
Impacted: Amazon, eBay, Reddit, Spotify
Is Fastly down? Website Status Check
Post Mortem: https://www.fastly.com/blog/summary-of-june-8-outage
Fastly, one of the world’s largest CDN (Content Delivery Network) companies experienced an hour-long outage on June 8, 2021. This caused website downtime for many sites in a range of industries, like Amazon, eBay, Reddit, Spotify, Twitch, and The New York Times.
Date: June 17, 2021
Down: 4 hours
Impacted: Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Is Akamai down? Website Status Check
Similar to the Fastly outage, another CDN company, Akamai Technologies, experienced downtime on June 17, 2021. The downtime lasted for about 4 hours and affected websites like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The intricate nature of the infrastructure behind these massive corporations caused one company’s outage to have a domino effect on every other associated player.
Date: August 24, 2021
Down: 3 hours
Impacted: Zoom Video Conferencing
Is Zoom down? Website Status Check
The now commonly used video conferencing application, Zoom, experienced an outage on August 24, 2021 lasting for 3 hours. Zoom has become integral to business communication and educational institutions since the onset of Covid-19, making the effects of this downtime nearly as wide-spread as the pandemic.
Date: March 15, 2021
Down: 3 hours
Impacted: Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365
Is Microsoft down? Website Status Check
Microsoft Teams experienced connectivity issues on March 15, 2021 alongside Azure, Microsoft 365 and other related services. The effects of this outage were felt around the world, specifically by businesses and educational institutions relying on Microsoft Teams for internal communication.
Date: April 12, 2021
Down: <1 hour
Impacted: YouTube, Gmail, Google Drive
Is Google down? Website Status Check
The world’s largest search engine had an outage on April 12, 2021 which was resolved in just under an hour. Unfortunately, Google’s search engine wasn’t the only service impacted – connected products like Youtube, Gmail, Google Drive and Classroom were all hit by downtime.
Date: June 24, 2021
Down: 2 hours
Impacted: Discord, AWS, Feedly
Is CloudFlare down? Website Status Check
CloudFlare experienced an outage lasting about 2 hours on June 24, 2021 impacting Discord, Feedly, AWS, Crunchyroll, Linode and other web services. The downtime triggered a 15% drop in traffic across its network and is yet another example of the domino effect of outages.
Date: May 11, 2021
Down: 5 hours
Is Salesforce Down? Website Status Check
Salesforce was impacted by an outage on May 11, 2021 lasting just over 5 hours. The damage was so extensive their status page was taken down along with their infrastructure. Salesforce is a popular CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform relied on by many companies. One lesson here is that decoupling your status page from your primary infrastructure will let others know when you’re up or down, and what you’re doing to fix it.
The takeaway? Downtime can happen anytime.
If there’s one lesson to takeaway from 2021’s most notable outages, it’s that no company (big or small) is immune to downtime. It is possible, however, to mitigate downtime with proactive website performance monitoring that alerts SREs and DevOps teams the moment an issue is detected. Some best practices we recommend for website performance monitoring are
- Preventing alerting false positives by adjusting sensitivity and location settings to best fit your needs.
- Communicating internally and externally with Status Pages (when/if downtime occurs).
- Using Real-Time Analysis to get a live picture of the infrastructure.
Monitoring third-party providers to ensure you aren’t taken down by external parties.
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