11 Comments

Summary:

It may seem small, but this tool is a good step. Apple realizes and is taking seriously how its web services and their status are crucial to their users’ experience — iCloud, Siri, Mail, iMessage have all had major service disruptions in the last few months.

iCloud

On Thursday, Apple quietly unveiled a new, very detailed and public systems status page for users and developers to monitor the status of the company’s sometimes unreliable cloud-based services.

The page shows Apple Services, Stores, and Cloud and whether they are operating as normal or they are encountering an issue. While Apple had a more basic way of notifying of systems outages before, this new chart is notable because of its detail: on a single page you can see whether anything from Siri to GameCenter, to any of the App Stores or any iCloud service is on or offline. Below that is a detailed timeline showing the timing of the outage and how many users were affected.

It may seem small, but this is a necessary step. Apple realizes and is taking seriously how its web services and their status are crucial to their users’ experience — iCloud, Siri, Mail, iMessage have all had major service disruptions in the last few months.

iCloud systems status page

It’s also a sign that Apple may be taking CEO Tim Cook’s Cook’s stance on being more open about some things to heart. As he told Businessweek last week about what’s changed since he became CEO: “There are lots of little things that change, and there will be lots of little things that change over the next year and the years thereafter. We decided being more transparent about some things is great—not that we were not transparent at all before, but we’ve stepped it up in places where we think we can make a bigger difference…”

This is a good thing to be open about, especially as iCloud is becoming the glue that holds together all of Apple’s hardware, software and services.

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  1. I continue to believe that Apple’s intentions are not suspect, and that the service disruptions have been the result of the company’s inexperience with providing cloud storage.

    1. Oh, totally agree. Web services have always been a challenge for them.

      1. Which feels strange when they are so good at everything else.

    2. I am an ex-iCloud developer and I quit Apple a few months ago after years of frustration with inexperienced senior managers, who act as architects. Most of them are out of touch with latest technologies and stopped upgrading their skills about 10 years ago. iCloud works because it is over-provisioned; each instance barely handles 10-50 concurrency. New ideas are frown upon because the management doesn’t want to take any risk. This maybe due to earlier failures with MobileMe. iCloud works more like HP or IBM than Apple with large teams doing mundane work using decade old technologies.

  2. Sean Lewis | Oklahoma SEO Thursday, December 13, 2012

    You also have to realize that they have a huge percentage of the market currently and having that many users and data going to a cloud storage service, will take it’s toll on the service itself until they can find a way to stabilize it.

    The App Site

    1. Facebook don’t really seem to have much problem with keeping it site online, a site with over a billion users and twice to 3 and maybe 5 or 6 times that in stored content.

  3. Meanwhile, email and notes is still down for me – 24 hours and counting.

  4. Michael W. Perry Thursday, December 13, 2012

    It’d be great is Apple could say, “We have an app for that”–particularly one with user-set notifications. It’d also be great if Apple could be more specific about who those “some users” are.

  5. I hope this is a step towards Apple becoming more serious about its cloud services – it now has quite a few and the insight into their current status also reveals which services Apple provides essentially SaaS. What makes this seem more serious is that they have added historical information and not just current status. This puts them on par with Amazon and Google for their own status visibility.

  6. 2/21/2013 we have not been able to get desktop icloud email on 3 different computers rom 2 different locations since 11AM. It’s now 2.40pm.

    Status for ‘Mail’ shows green all day.

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