Active Hackathon

Cloud Outages That Shook The Tech World: 2018

Over the past few years, the popularity of cloud computing has snowballed, and it is boosting the power of the internet more than ever. And with all its benefits that it provides, the cloud is not only becoming a vital part for companies across the globe, but also an essential tool for the future existence of the internet.


Sign up for your weekly dose of what's up in emerging technology.

However, in 2018, the world saw the cloud storage’s dark side. Some unexpected cloud outages have hit even the most prominent cloud providers, causing embarrassment all around.

Major Cloud Outages Of 2018

Google Cloud

Many products and services nowadays depend on platforms such as AWS and Google Cloud and if their cloud goes down or runs into a problem, it not only affects the companies but also its customer base. And unfortunately, in July 2018, Google Cloud witnessed an outage that caused headaches for some of the popular platforms like Snapchat, Spotify, and Pokémon Go.  According to Google’s status page, the search giant has stated that the outage started at 12:17 on 17 July 2018 and ended at 12:55 on the same day (times are US/Pacific).


Discord, a free VoIP application and digital distribution platform for video gaming communities, said the issue was completely due to Google outage, however, other platforms like Snapchat, Spotify, and Pokémon Go didn’t mention Google.

Even though the issue lasted for almost an hour, Google took quick actions and fixed the problem. “The issue with Google App Engine should be resolved for some users and we expect a full resolution in the near future,” said Google in an update.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

On March 2018, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was hit by a cloud outage that silenced Amazon’s Alexa and affected hundreds of enterprise services including Atlassian, Slack, and Twilio.  The outage happened in the important region of data centres in Virginia when the Direct Connect dedicated links from AWS North Virginia region to other server warehouses and premises on the East Coast got disabled.

The outage wasn’t the only thing Amazon was dealing with, Twitter was also going crazy with some of the funniest tweets in response to the AWS outage.

That is not all, in May 2018, Amazon was hit by another outage — it witnessed a critical connectivity issue due to some hardware failure in a data centre in North Virginia. And AWS’ EC2, Relational Database Service, Workspaces, and Redshift were all impacted by the outage.
The same day, Amazon in an update said, “customers with EC2 instances in the availability zone may see issues with connectivity to the affected instances.”

However, the company took the necessary measures to deal with the issue and restored power to the vast majority of the affected instances.


Slack was running fine after its May outage that lasted for around 20 minutes — it had a 100% uptime throughout the month of June 2018, however, at the end of the month, the workplace messaging platform suffered a Global outage and the according to the company, the reason was a connectivity issue.  

“We’ve received word that all workspaces are having troubles connecting to Slack. We’re currently investigating the issue, and will have updates shortly,” Slack confirmed on its website.

With a massive customer base of organisations and people, Slack is a renowned platform and even a small outage can cause great loss to all its customers. So, when Slack was down, people lost their minds and to respond to the global outage, they took it to Twitter. 

After all the disruption and Tweets that Slack was dealing with, it resolved the issue and tweeted that all the services had been restored.

Microsoft Azure

Announced in 2008, Microsoft Azure is a popular cloud computing service and over the years, it has gained tremendous popularity. In June 2018, Microsoft Azure suffered a critical outage overnight and it affected the platform’s storage and networking services.  The outage affected the Northern Europe region and the reason behind it was an underlying temperature issue in one of the data centres in the region.

According to the company, the outage started at 5.45 PM and lasted till 4.30 AM. However, it seemed that many customers faced issues for a long-time despite Azure Support claiming that engineers had “mitigated the issue and impacted services should be recovered at this time”.

Witnessing all the complaints, Microsoft quickly did the needful and it was back in normal. But, just after two months, Microsoft suffered another outage caused by a severe lightning storm in the San Antonio. Azure’s South-Central US data centre region was down for quite a while. Customers across the world using Active Directory and Visual Studio Team Services faced trouble for more than 24 hours.


Whether it is due to a human error or natural disaster, when it comes to cloud, expect outage. So, why not be prepared for the downtime.  And when talking about being prepared, it starts with knowing all the pieces of your organisation’s technical chain which includes network, servers, load balancers, applications, DB, other third-party vendors etc. Knowing the chain will not only help you prepare a back-up but also help you prepare it fast.

More Great AIM Stories

Harshajit Sarmah
Harshajit is a writer / blogger / vlogger. A passionate music lover whose talents range from dance to video making to cooking. Football runs in his blood. Like literally! He is also a self-proclaimed technician and likes repairing and fixing stuff. When he is not writing or making videos, you can find him reading books/blogs or watching videos that motivate him or teaches him new things.

Our Upcoming Events

Conference, Virtual
Genpact Analytics Career Day
3rd Sep

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Cypher 2022
21-23rd Sep

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Machine Learning Developers Summit (MLDS) 2023
19-20th Jan, 2023

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
Data Engineering Summit (DES) 2023
21st Apr, 2023

Conference, in-person (Bangalore)
MachineCon 2023
23rd Jun, 2023

3 Ways to Join our Community

Discord Server

Stay Connected with a larger ecosystem of data science and ML Professionals

Telegram Channel

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest updates from AIM

Data Science Skills Survey 2022 – By AIM and Great Learning

Data science and its applications are becoming more common in a rapidly digitising world. This report presents a comprehensive view to all the stakeholders — students, professionals, recruiters, and others — about the different key data science tools or skillsets required to start or advance a career in the data science industry.

How to Kill Google Play Monopoly

The only way to break Google’s monopoly is to have localised app stores with an interface as robust as Google’s – and this isn’t an easy ask. What are the options?