outage

With the cyberworld facing the most disturbing security threats quite early on, 2018 is predicted to be an eventful year on the cyberthreat front. GitHub faced the largest ever DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack last week, which peaked at 1.3 terabits per second, or 126.9 million packets per second. And the record of the largest DDoS attack got broken just within a week, when earlier this month, a customer of US based service provider suffered a 1.7 Tbps attack, as reported by the Arbor Networks. Although no outage was experienced as proper security measures were in place by this provider but the attack is proof enough that memcached attacks are among the cyberthreats that should be considered seriously by the network administrators in the future. These DDoS attacks were based on UDP (User Datagram Protocol) Memcached traffic. Memcached is a protocol used to cache data and decrease strain on heavy data stores such as disk or databases. It enables the server to be enquired…
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Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
An accidental release of fire-suppression agent into the data center environment in Europe triggered a chain of events that led to an Azure cloud outage for a group of customers on September 29.
Microsoft Azure engineers attributed what they referred to as a "Storage Related Incident," which led to systems going down for customers hosting virtual infrastructure in the company's data center in Northern Europe, to an accident during routine maintenance of the facility's fire-suppression system.
Related: How to Survive a Cloud Meltdown
From the incident report posted on the Azure status page:
During a routine periodic fire suppression system maintenance, an unexpected release of inert fire suppression agent occurred. When suppression was triggered, it initiated the automatic shutdown of Air Handler Units (AHU) as designed for containment and safety. While conditions in the data center were being reaffirmed and AHUs were being restarted, the ambient temperature in isolated areas of the impacted suppression zone rose above normal operational parameters. Some systems in the impacted zone performed auto shutdowns or reboots triggered by internal thermal health monitoring to prevent overheating of those systems.
Related: AWS Outage that Broke the Internet Caused by Mistyped Command
The staff brought the air handlers back online 35 minutes after the unexpected gas release, returning facility temperature to a normal operational level
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Unplanned webhosting/server downtime can disrupt your blog, website or business. It can alienate customers/members/visitors, and damage your and your company’s reputation. It can also impact you economically, as you loose revenue if your site is down.

Unforeseen outages are unexpected events that cause instant website downtime such as hardware or software failures, webmaster or web-host errors, hacking and other malicious acts, natural disasters, network issues, and ISP maintenance. Remember, even with 99% uptime, your website will be down for 87 hours, 36 minutes per year!

There is nothing worse for a website owner to be informed by a client that his website is not working, so to prevent this and minimize downtime, you need a hosting/server monitoring service.

There is a wide range of companies offering monitoring services (both free and paid) to meet just about any budget and business need. Here are some of our favorites:

  • BasicState
    They offer a free web site uptime monitor and alert service that checks your website every 15 minutes and will send alerts by email or SMS. You also get a daily uptime report with a 14 day history.
  • UptimeRobot
    You can monitor up to 50 websites every 5 minutes for free, and receive alerts via email, SMS, Twitter, RSS or push notifications for iPhone/iPad.
  • Pingdom
    They offer a free account to monitor one website. It includes 20 SMS alerts.
  • Mon.itor.us
    This free service allows you to monitor 1 website every 30 minutes, and get alerted via IM, SMS, E-mail, or RSS.
  • InternetSeer
    They claim to be the largest website monitoring service and offer a 24x per day free service.

If you get notified by your monitoring service that your website is down, it is important to address the problem immediately and correctly.

An informative website message with an estimate of how long the site will be down, is very useful. This way, both existing and potential clients and visitors are properly informed of the problem, and how soon it will be resolved. Ask for their patience and to please come back. This is good for your personal and business image, and can help to limit financial loss.

Of course, you then have to ensure the unforeseen issue is immediately addressed and resolved without delay. Get professional help, if necessary, like your web-host’s support, or a server administrator.

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