Other high profile outages have followed including the Intuit outage last June and the Skype outage in December. These two outages lasted more than a day, leaving many unhappy users in their wakes and providing a snapshot for you of what happens when your systems go down.
People who need these services to do their jobs are left looking for work-arounds that IT might not ultimately be happy with (like using unauthorized services to try and get something done).
The fact is that as you sit there looking at your monitoring dashboard, there are real people behind those red lights trying get their work done, and these stories illustrate in a very concrete fashion that when services go down–whether it’s a public service or a private one– it can have a profound impact on actual users. It can be easy to forget that as you look at the data in front of you on monitors, but it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just some abstract representation of the service levels inside your company.
In fact, for every red light you see on the dashboard, is another person unable to complete a task using that service and the more mission critical it is, the bigger the effect.
So as you monitor your systems, and review your data and watch the activity streaming through your equipment, always remember that there are humans who depend on these tools to do their jobs, and when a service goes down, even for a little while, it can have major ramifications.
Photo by nan palmero on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License