48 hours is worst case

Verizon Cloud warns customers of 2 day (!) maintenance closure

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Verizon’s enterprise cloud may go off line for 48 hours starting next Saturday at 1 a.m. EST for scheduled maintenance, notice of which got the Twitterverse in a bit of a tizzy this weekend.

A [company]Verizon[/company] spokesman confirmed that a major platform upgrade would take place starting January 10, but said the customer service rep probably overstated the amount of downtime they will experience. In a subsequent email, he said the work being done next weekend will enable future service updates to happen without impacting customers.

“We do these upgrades periodically, the last one being right before Thanksgiving and there was zero impact,” he said. In that case, all customer VMs were back up in 24 hours and most within 12 hours, he added.

Verizon had better hope that is the case because two days of downtime, even if the bulk of it happens over the weekend, is not anything any corporate account wants to experience.

Verizon, which initially got into “cloud” via its $1.4 billion acquisition of Terremark in 2011 and then last year announced a brand new written-from-scratch “enterprise cloud,” is trying to compete with Amazon Web Services and a raft of other competitors for corporate accounts. The shutdown impacts that new Verizon cloud, not the legacy Enterprise Cloud versions, another spokesman said in a follow-up email.

Planned shutdowns for cloud maintenance are not unheard of. And sometimes cloud providers have to react faster to more unforseen issues. For example:  Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, IBM and others all had to regroup in late September/early October to address a Xen hypervisor security flaw.

Note: This report was updated at 7:51 p.m. PST with additional comment from Verizon about the nature of next week’s service update and again at 12:01 p.m. PST January 5 to reflect that Verizon said its legacy cloud offerings will not be affected by next week’s action.

9 Responses to “Verizon Cloud warns customers of 2 day (!) maintenance closure”

  1. Carl Brooks

    this is whole bunch of nothing IMO. I think it’s lousy PR on their part but it’s not some grand failure of design. I seriously doubt anyone at Verizon is going to mash the big red button on Verizon Cloud until Monday morning, they’re telling a small subset of their customers to gtfo while they do some planned maintenance, which is miles better than the usual practices from cloud providers. I don’t havea lot of the technical details but I’d bet real money they could do most of this upgrade without kicking users off, they’re just doing that to CYA. Microsoft has planned monthly outages to patch and it tells you if you’re in the target zone ahead of time, this isn’t so different, just a bit more ham handed

    You know what AWS says to users before it upgrades and reboots a bunch of its platform? Nothing.

  2. …and this is why we won’t be storing all of our data in the cloud any time soon.

    This sort of outage is unacceptable. It could have been avoided. It should have been avoided.

  3. Keith Craig

    Good corporate accountability necessitates announcements such as Verizon’s and all cloud-hosts are subject to maintenance downtime, . However, it seems that Verizon is trying to under-promise in order to over-deliver: “Look! Less than 12 hours downtime – a quarter of what we told you to expect. No biggie!”

    Wondering why they’re not trying a rolling maintenance downtime.

    And while the Verizon brand is prominent and Terremark had good market share a few years ago, the brand is not in the first tier of cloud hosts. And if the downtime lasts the full 48 hours, it may never be.

    Customers can tolerate limited capacity, but don’t take away their uptime for an exorbitant period.

    More than likely, this will be much ado about nothing. But it did get the Verizon name into the discussion as 2015 commences. Whatever the outcome this weekend, that’s publicity; and all publicity is “good” publicity.

  4. snuggles

    I thought the Rackspace one was pretty bad but this makes Rackspace seem competent. Barb, since you’re the cloud expert – what’s the SLA for Verizon Cloud? And does the 48 hour maintenance window seem excessive to you?