Apple's iCloud problems persist with two new service outages [update: 27-hour email issue reported]

Posted:
in iCloud edited January 2014
Coming on the heels of two issues last week, Apple's iCloud saw wide disruptions of service for Game Center on both Thursday and Friday, as well as isolated reports of iTunes Store downtime earlier in the week.

Update: Apple recently updated its iCloud system status page to reflect an issue with sending and receiving emails. According to the company, 0.008 percent of iCloud users were unable to use the service for 27 hours.
Users may have been unable to send mail from icloud.com. Affected users were able to use the mail application on their Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.


As Apple's presence in Internet services expands with every new iOS device sale, so does the importance of the company's iCloud backbone, which effectively becomes the digital hub for a growing number of users.

As noted by AppleInsider reader Gregg Mojica, earlier on Friday, Game Center became unavailable for half an hour, with "some users" affected by the down time. On Thursday, the same iCloud service saw two disruptions, one nearly 90 minutes long and another with 24 minutes of downtime.

Throughout the week, AppleInsider readers have been writing in about sporadic iTunes store troubles, and a quick check with Apple's Support Communities confirms that a number of users were having problems on Tuesday. Interestingly, users were hit with "Error (-50)" messages, or a network timeout issue usually caused by other software, such as firewall protection. The problem was resolved on Wednesday.



Apple's most recent iCloud woes come just days after a significant iMessage and FaceTime outage on April 9, which lasted for over five hours. Three days later, the two services went down again for about one hour.

In the past, service troubles like those described above didn't have the same impact on Apple's customer base as it does today, if only for the sheer number of devices now connected to iCloud. Being the de facto service for a multitude of core iOS features like messaging, email, iTunes access and more, even slight iCloud outages affect thousands of users worldwide.

While it remains unclear what exactly is causing the disruptions of service, Apple is building a new data center in Reno, Nev., which should aid the company in offering a more stable iCloud.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    Apple doom.
  • Reply 2 of 25


    AI, your above this click bait stuff.  It's a outage.  This just in, my cell phone didn't work out in the country for a few minutes.

  • Reply 3 of 25
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    I wonder if Apple posts the reasons for said outages after they're fixed.

  • Reply 4 of 25


    Apple doesn't explain crap.  

  • Reply 5 of 25


    Two days ago, six of Google's 13 online services had partial outages as well. These things happen. Although I have to admit you never hear much about Amazon going down. Their EC2 servers are probably the best in the world.

  • Reply 6 of 25
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,391member
    Two days ago, six of Google's 13 online services had partial outages as well. These things happen. Although I have to admit you never hear much about Amazon going down. Their EC2 servers are probably the best in the world.
    not true. No one talks about them. Well not on this site for sure. Amazon had a major outage last month and in October. The problem is when they crash they take down other companies too.
  • Reply 7 of 25
    I had a problem last Friday with accessing all things apple (iCloud services,etc.). This occurred after I created a two-step verification on my account. I was locked out of my accounts and told to reset my password. I went through the process using the two-step verification and that process landed me on a dead webpage. I went to tech-support and the Apple store and they solve my problem within a few days.

    Tech-support was wonderful (Not being sarcastic). I was back up and running after a few days. Apparently I was one of the few percent that was affected by this issue. I actually received a call from Apple today Asking if there's anything they could do.

    No biggie. The attention I received and the courtesy displayed makes me love Apple even more.
  • Reply 8 of 25


    I am more convinced whenever I hear about such service outages that Apple is experiencing data center capacity issues.


     


    Horace Dediu (Asymco) often ponders why Apple is not taking more carriers online. I believe the answer is that Apple can not provide a high quality user experience to a few tens of millions of new iOS users with current data center capacity.


     


    If you think about how data and computation heavy iCloud services are, it is hard to fathom the incremental data center cost of each new iOS user.


     


    Siri : speech to text recognition and natural language processing with data retrieval for each request.


    Photostream : very bandwidth and data intensive, writing megabytes of data for each picture taken, storing and sending to all devices.


    Maps : calculating directions probably not that bad, but the 3d mapping is highly data and bandwidth intensive


    Backups : gigabytes of data sent and received


    iMessage : small data, but must be dealing with countless requests per second -- I cannot even imagine how much data this uses.


     


    These are just a sample of their services. Along with iCloud, they also need to continue expanding iTunes services -- streaming audio and video, as I'm sure a certain percentage of iOS user likes to buy/rent from iTunes.


     


    I am starting to think that it is the lack of data centers that is slowing iOS product growth -- not demand.

  • Reply 9 of 25
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 413member


    it's beta (forever)

  • Reply 10 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    manicakes wrote: »
    I am starting to think that it is the lack of data centers that is slowing iOS product growth -- not demand.

    Poppycock. iCloud supposedly is 'only' 5 exabytes. 10 if they keep backups, but nothing of the scale of the NSA, with 'several yottabytes'

    http://nsa.gov1.info/utah-data-center/index.html
  • Reply 11 of 25
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,355member


    A couple days ago Google had a shitload of their services down, including gmail, for a while. What's worse, trying to sign in would give you a message that your account did not exist, or that you had an incorrect password, leading many (including myself) to change all their passwords. This is Google, who are supposedly Gods of the cloud. However, when this shit happens noone accuses them about being "clueless" about cloud services, which is the reaction Apple gets if iMessage is down for 5 min. This shit happens, it doesn't matter how much experience you have. The fact that it happens to Google- consistently- should give you an indication that 100% uptime is not all that easy. 

  • Reply 12 of 25
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    A couple days ago Google had a shitload of their services down, including gmail, for a while. What's worse, trying to sign in would give you a message that your account did not exist, or that you had an incorrect password, leading many (including myself) to change all their passwords. This is Google, who are supposedly Gods of the cloud. However, when this shit happens noone accuses them about being "clueless" about cloud services, which is the reaction Apple gets if iMessage is down for 5 min. This shit happens, it doesn't matter how much experience you have. The fact that it happens to Google- consistently- should give you an indication that 100% uptime is not all that easy. 



     


    But reporting every single Google outage wouldn't give AI the hit-whore quotient that drives them these days.

  • Reply 13 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    slurpy wrote: »
    The fact that it happens to Google- consistently- should give you an indication that 100% uptime is not all that easy.

    That's true. Even the human heart skips a beat every now and then. Then again, there's also the case of: Epic uptime achievement unlocked. Can you beat 16 years?

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/03/epic-uptime-achievement-can-you-beat-16-years/
  • Reply 14 of 25
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    philboogie wrote: »
    That's true. Even the human heart skips a beat every now and then. Then again, there's also the case of: Epic uptime achievement unlocked. Can you beat 16 years?

    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/03/epic-uptime-achievement-can-you-beat-16-years/

    Amazing!

    Turning that thing off would have been like killing one of your kids.

    Mind you, it'd be a teenage kid, so that would take a bit of the sting out of it...
  • Reply 15 of 25
    airbubbleairbubble Posts: 105member
    I'm clad I did not see any of these interruptions buying on iTunes last week &
    using iMessages daily! Is it just in the USA or elsewhere?
  • Reply 16 of 25
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    A couple days ago Google had a shitload of their services down, including gmail, for a while. What's worse, trying to sign in would give you a message that your account did not exist, or that you had an incorrect password, leading many (including myself) to change all their passwords. This is Google, who are supposedly Gods of the cloud. However, when this shit happens noone accuses them about being "clueless" about cloud services, which is the reaction Apple gets if iMessage is down for 5 min. This shit happens, it doesn't matter how much experience you have. The fact that it happens to Google- consistently- should give you an indication that 100% uptime is not all that easy. 



    Why are you using gmail. Traitor 

  • Reply 17 of 25
    just_me wrote: »
    Apple doom.

    Give it a rest. Apple isn't going anywhere...
  • Reply 18 of 25
    Two days ago, six of Google's 13 online services had partial outages as well. These things happen. Although I have to admit you never hear much about Amazon going down. Their EC2 servers are probably the best in the world.

    That's Linux for ya
  • Reply 19 of 25
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,423member


    http://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/


    approx. 3 days history available


     


    http://www.google.com/appsstatus#hl=en&v=status&ts=1366516799000


    approx 60 days history available


     


    http://status.aws.amazon.com/


    approx 30 days history available


     


    Based on downtime reports here and other Apple blog sites (Apple doesn't offer much dashboard history) iCloud doesn't appear to be as reliable as Google and certainly not Amazon who is generally looking pretty solid both in their dashboard history and press reports of service interruptions.

  • Reply 20 of 25
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,674member
    Thank you for sharing
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