A year in outages: 2022 saw various high-profile outages take down apps and services. Many of these outages global in scale, indicating continued stress on an overburdened infrastructure that’s become unmanageable.
Outages were caused by human error, bad software updates, and carelessness on the part of system administrators. Let’s look at the litany of outages that took down services in 2022.
Apple started the year with a monumental iCloud outage that took down Apple Web Apps, iCloud Backup, iCloud Mail, iMessage, and iCloud Photos, which were inaccessible or offline across the world for two days.
- Thousands of YouTube viewers and PlayStation Network gamers were booted offline as an overloaded network infrastructure continued to take its toll on high-bandwidth services.
Xbox Live spoiled gamers’ weekends as a massive outage prevented players from launching cloud games, making purchases, and signing into accounts.
- An outage hit 19 of Cloudflare’s data centers, resulting in Amazon, Twitch, AWS, Steam, Coinbase, Telegram, Discord, DoorDash, GitLab, and others going dark for some users. Cloudflare’s outage affected roughly 50% of all global HTTP requests handled by the content delivery network.
- A heat wave knocked out Google and Oracle data centers in the UK, exposing the fragility of thermally challenged data centers during summer months and extreme weather spikes.
- In Canada, a nationwide Rogers outage took out a quarter of broadband, payment systems, transport, government access, healthcare, and even 911 calls.
- South Korean super app Kakao had a nationwide outage that disrupted communication, prevented mobile payments from going through, and stranded passengers trying to use ride-sharing services.
WhatsApp, Meta’s messaging app, suffered a significant outage for two hours, which resulted in spiking global searches for alternative messaging apps.
Meta’s services continued to have outage issues, with Instagram booting off thousands of users and suspending their accounts for no apparent reason.
Rackspace had a multiday outage that took down email and Microsoft Exchange services for thousands of users, exposing the danger of relying on third-party hosting companies.
Key takeaways: Recent outages aren't just more frequent—they have also been taking longer to resolve than previously, indicating that massive growth is quickly becoming unmanageable even for companies with considerable resources.
Consumer broadband data consumption has reached a milestone of more than half a terabyte each month, an increase of 165% compared with the 203 GB monthly consumption in 2017.