The five largest websites that ‘fell’ in 2016: learning to avoid mistakes

Nobody likes that your favorite web or app you need does not work for any mistake. To brands, either: they lose millions in revenue and reputation.

Murphy’s Law states that “if anything can go wrong, it will probably go wrong.” In the digital world, this phrase could apply to the falls that the most essential web sites of our lives suffer: the web of an airline that stops working just when we have to take a ticket, the online store that is out of service the day before The birthday of our loved one or the shift app we need and who has decided that it is better to take a forced vacation.

This type of unintended inaction is not only a source of annoyance for consumers and partners: it also entails a direct and indirect loss of revenue for companies, as well as damages that are difficult to repair in the reputation of the brands and in the confidence they offer the consumers. And not only the small online businesses are exposed to these bugs: also the big organizations sin of these falls, as the most recent history of 2016 demonstrates.

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Salesforce is the vivid example of how no big company is exempt from having their systems crashed by any silly mistake. This business and customer relationship management software provider suffered a fall of more than 12 hours in all its services in 2016, due to a failure in the NA14 instance of its database, which in turn caused a problem of Integrity in all files.

In the purely technological area we also find Apple, which despite its vaunted attention to detail could not prevent the fall of iCloud, App Store, iTunes and Apple TV for more than 9 hours in June 2016. A failure that was repeated again In the case of iCloud in early December, leaving millions of users unable to access their accounts and personal files hosted in the cloud.

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June was definitely a bad month as far as blunders are concerned in web services. Not surprisingly, one of the most used collaboration and messaging apps worldwide – Slack – also suffered a month of service dropping for about two hours, as all its servers collapsed unexpectedly.

The US magazine CIO also cites the case of Delta Airlines, one of the leading airlines in the United States. Due to a power outage in Atlanta, all of its computer and operating systems dropped for more than five hours, resulting in delays and cancellations of flights worldwide: more than 2,200 flights were canceled due to this failure (avoidable with An emergency power generation system), with an estimated cost of 150 million dollars, according to BigPanda company.

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We continue with the airlines, one of the sectors where the availability of ICT systems is more critical. In this case, we talked about the company Southwest Airlines, which saw how 836 flights suffered delays or cancellations last October due to several problems with the company’s computer systems. In fact, to avoid the incidents, workers had to use paper and pen, backup systems and primary technologies to be able to meet the flights and checked baggage in time.

How to avoid these service drops

Specialist firm BigPanda estimates that in 2017 we will continue to suffer this type of large-scale falls in all types of companies, large organizations as small SMEs or online businesses. This is why, given the increasing complexity of ICT systems, companies that want to guarantee maximum availability must clearly identify systems that are mission-critical for the business (mainly point of sale and billing) and establish on these legs additional systems Protection and backup in case of error.

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Experts also recommend deploying more tools that monitor all web performance and further test any changes to business applications. All in order to detect even the smallest configuration error before it can cause critical damage in the real world, especially when urgent changes are made (for example, to cover a vulnerability) that have not been sufficiently analyzed.

Of course, we must not forget that many of the web crashes are due to the engineers and developers underestimating traffic peaks or requests that they could receive (even under normal circumstances, we are not talking about denial of service attacks – In which the error is caused intentionally

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