Facebook's Outage – Are You Prepared? Or Could You Be Next?

Facebook’s Outage – Are you Prepared? Or Could you be Next?by Sue Dunnell.

A server configuration change was reported to be the cause for the Facebook and Instagram 24 hour outage yesterday. There is speculation that perhaps this was something more deliberate and intentional, such as a cyber attack.

Others seem to think it was similar to a 2010 incident. Regardless of the root cause, the vulnerability of two of the biggest tech brands has caused many companies to rethink their own vulnerability.

Across all industries, IT is under increasing pressure to rapidly support changing business demands.

Be agile. Move faster. Get to the cloud. Protect data.

IT must quickly update infrastructure, add new technology, protect personal data, and be more vigilant about security – and at the same time, ensure that legacy applications and infrastructure continue to run smoothly.  As applications and services are increasingly distributed across data centers, private and public clouds, and virtualized platforms, it becomes more difficult to understand application dependencies, and know how to rapidly respond if an application goes down.

And yet, any change made in IT, no matter how small, can have unintended consequences, affecting systems in unexpected ways. Something as simple as changing the setting on a server can take down business critical applications, for 24 hours.

Network intelligence company ThousandEyes said Facebook’s issue was internal, rather than a network or Internet delivery issue:

“Given the sheer scale and continuous changes that these web scale providers are constantly making to their applications and infrastructure,” wrote ThousandEyes VP of product marketing Alex Henthorn-Iwane in a statement, “sometimes things break as a result of these changes, even in the most capable hands.”

The best way to be prepared to handle and respond to unexpected events is to have always accurate data about your IT environment, including  an in-depth understanding of application dependencies. At TDS, we are experts in providing IT with actionable data to manage change across their hybrid environments, while eliminating risk from the process. And, we provide IT with the ability to create and maintain always accurate recovery plans to rapidly restore service after an outage – regardless of source. 

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