Overnight outage of Apple’s iCloud, online store lasted hours

“Apple’s iCloud service experienced an overnight outage, with some users unable to access Calendar and other features, while the company’s online store saw a five-hour period of inaccessibility for updates,” Kevin Bostic reports for AppleInsider.

“Apple’s online store was unavailable from midnight until 5 a.m. Eastern time. The iCloud services outage lasted about an hour, according to Apple,” Bostic reports. “Apple’s online services have experienced a number of outages over the past several months. In June, iCloud and iTunes users were unable to access those features for nearly an hour and a half.”

Bostic reports, “t is unclear what caused the current service interruption, and Apple has not commented on the issue.”

Read more in the full article here.

18 Comments

    1. It may have something to do with Apple bringing on-line more of their billion dollar server farms. The one in Hong Kong will need to be up and running for the China Mobile customers to be on line soon. The server farm in Nevada may have come on line earlier to support the massing data requirements of the iOS 7 update. There was enough data supplied to crush networks all around the United States.

  1. The cure: Redundancy.

    Just having a Restore isn’t good enough if you’re a professional service. Setting up staggered redundancy, what time interval to use and how many redundant systems to use is the challenge. But I’d say at least have one copy, 24 hours behind the source, as well as a constant backup that can be used to restore the non-corrupted version of the past 24 hours.

    Then again, for all we know this was an update to Apple’s server systems that ran into problems. Apple got caught a couple months back getting hacked because of security holes in an old implementation of WebObjects. The cleanup took weeks.

    1. Most of the intended audience doesn’t really know or care about degrees or technical details. …and that’s okay as long as the perception of the audience isn’t intentionally skewed by the author’s intentional attempt to withhold facts in order to change the conclusion.

      In this instance SOME users lost ALL iCloud data access WITHOUT WARNING. Moreover, as the article states, this is only one of several service interruptions that have occurred recently.

      The correct conclusion one should draw is that NO cloud service is 100% reliable, and therefore if you want to maximize your uptime, you really need to serve your own data, with well-planned backups of course. One simply cannot entrust mission-critical data on someone else’s server.

      There is simply no way to defend the “cloud” business model. It is primarily set up to enable subscription-based computing, NOT to enhance the end user’s data safety and access. At best, iCloud can only be used for consumer media management and distribution, and even there the user is wise not to place unquestioning trust in it.

  2. Sounds like a normal outage to me. Systems go offline in the middle of the night routinely for maintenance updates, etc. Most people don’t even notice it because they are asleep, this being a US view, not worldwide obviously.

    1. This would be acceptable ONLY if users were given advance notice to a pre-planned maintenance outage. This only underscores the fact that no “cloud” can be relied upon for important data.

  3. I have not been able to search using the iTunes Store app on my iPhone for a few days. Type a search term and no results come up.

    Can someone try this. I rebooted the phone with no success.

  4. Fortunately for me, I use Apple’s Calendar and Mail apps for my Mac and iPhone so it is always accessible to me. I depend on iCloud for syncing, (and occasional accesses at iCloud.com) but if it goes down, I still know where I need to be at 3pm.

  5. If banks can keep their systems up 24×7 without outages, why can’t Apple? This suggests lack of capacity, inadequate redundancy, poor procedures and/or lack of commitment to 100% uptime. I doubt this would be happening if Apple had grown up in the corporate market, as opposed to the consumer market: business users just would not tolerate this level of outage. I don’t know what systems Apple rely on to support their cloud services, but non-stop technology has been around for decades – Tandem made their name in this market in the 70’s with redundant mainframes which promised “non-stop” operations. Cost, perhaps, is the issue here. But, whatever the problem, Apple need to get on top of it if they are serious about cloud services.

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