Verizon Cloud goes out in planned maintenance, aims for seamless updates going forward

(c)iStock.com/LindaJoHeilman

Updated Over the weekend, Verizon’s cloud service, Verizon Cloud, was offline as it looked to add ‘seamless upgrade functionality as well as other customer-facing updates.’

The maintenance period was put in to improve the service and to ensure further updates went ahead without any hitches to customers. The telco giant warned the fixes could take up to 48 hours, but was completed after 40, with Verizon taking the bizarre step of issuing a press release to announce the work had been done.

“The seamless upgrade functionality allows Verizon to conduct major system upgrades without interrupting service or limiting infrastructure capacity,” the release states. “Traditionally, updates have been made via rolling maintenance and other methods.

“Many cloud vendors require customers to set up virtual machines in multiple zones or upgrade domains, which can increase the cost and complexity. Additionally, those customers must reboot their virtual machines after maintenance has occurred.

“Verizon eliminates these requirements, since virtually all maintenance and upgrades to Verizon Cloud will now happen in the background with no impact to customers,” it adds.

Verizon customer Kenn White tweeted his way through the outage, some with a rather scathing undertone:

Until all was finally resolved:

Ivan Harris, cloud services business manager at Eduserv, said: "It’s difficult to justify a planned outage of cloud services for nearly two days if the industry is to assert that placing your data centres in the cloud provides better availability than on-premise infrastructure. A correctly designed cloud service provides high availability, even during significant upgrades, by failing over resilient servers.

“Planned outages cannot be completely avoided, especially if services are to be cost effective, as high availability services require redundancy servers; however, 40-plus hours seems excessive,” he added.

Verizon, like various other telecoms providers, has made a concerted push towards cloud services in recent years, having bought Terremark in 2011 for $1.4bn. The company launched its software store Verizon Cloud Marketplace back in November.

While one particular customer was less than happy, two days of pain in a planned outage seems like a far better idea than aiming for 100% uptime before the inevitable happens, as happened with Mimecast. So long as Verizon keeps up its end of the bargain, that is.

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