I almost couldn’t believe this when I saw the article. The Verizon Cloud is shutting down for 48 hours. Apparently they have maintenance scheduled for this weekend and notified their customers that their virtual machines will be shut down early Saturday morning. There are some legacy Verizon cloud-type services that will be available, but the platform they’ve been pushing to customers will be down.
This isn’t good news for Verizon or their customers, but it also doesn’t help the cloud overall as a service. This outage reinforces the idea that reliability isn’t necessarily better for vendors than individuals. If costs for the cloud are anywhere near that of on-premise hosting, this event would certainly make me think twice about moving anything really important in my organization to a single cloud vendor.
I suspect that most cloud vendors have outages like this, but they don’t shut down their entire clouds. When a large amount of maintenance is needed at a data center, most vendors would migrate customers to a separate data center or another part of their cloud while they perform their work. Either this mainenance is a major change to Verizon’s entire infrastructure that can’t be staged on just a part of their system, or they’ve poorly planned their architecture and maintenance.
Either way, this weekend will certainly be a good DR test for enterprises that might have important applications hosted with Verizon. It will also be a chance to test how these clients notify their own customers of potential issues or how they respond to problems. I wouldn’t want to have an application hosted with Verizon as it would be a lot of work for me and likely a weekend away from family, but I know I’d learn a lot about how well I’ve prepared my own systems for fault tolerance.