Major IT service disruptions in APAC 2016

Cloud providers, telcos and governments across APAC have all been victims of major IT disruptions in 2016. We take a look at the biggest incidents of the year and assess the reasons behind them.

By Richard Pain
Nov. 16, 2016

Service Disruption

2016 has been a landmark year when it comes to IT service disruptions and the stark implications these have for business operations. Whilst everybody is aware of the growing reliance organisations are placing on IT services, with each incremental modernisation, the potential for IT service disruption, and the associated costs, increases.

But it's not just the potential risk that's increasing, the actual number of unplanned disruptions, their duration and the costs they incur have all risen year-on-year according to the 2016 Veeam Availability Report. The report summarises:


  • The average number of unplanned downtime events reported has increased from 13 events in 2014 to 15 events in 2015.
  • The average length of each downtime event has also increased from less than 1.5 hours to almost 2 hours for mission-critical applications.
  • And as a result of these increases, the average annual cost of downtime to organisations can be up to US$16 million, which is US$6 million higher than that recorded in Veeam's 2014 study.

These findings suggest a major ongoing trend, but what is the real world impact these disruptions are having on organisations and their users? To find out, we take a look at some of 2016's major IT service disruptions in APAC and examine the reasons behind them:

Twitter users face downtime

19 January 2016: Twitter Users in Asia Hit By Worldwide Disruption

Twitter experienced one of its most extensive global disruptions, preventing many of its 300 million users from staying connected or from logging on to the social network. The problem began at 8:20am GMT, with error messages warning the network is both "over capacity" and suffering an "internal error". The disruption continued until 12:10pm GMT.

Cause: Technical problems in recent code change.

Downtime: 4 hours.

Significance: Impacted Twitter's effectiveness as a marketing platform for users and companies.

eHealth systems and affected

5 June 2016: Amazon Web Services Sydney Power Outage Affects Major Companies

Amazon Web Services in Sydney experienced an extended power outage, causing many websites and applications to go down, affecting major local companies including Dominos, Channel Nine, Foxtel Play, and Domain. Even though 80 percent of the impacted customer instances and volumes were back online and operational within a few hours, a bug in its instance management software meant instances that were not recovered by that evening experienced slower than expected restoration times.

Cause: Power problems and a latent bug in instance management software.

Downtime: 2 hours.

Significance: Caused nationwide outage of websites and online services including F&B, banking, news and streaming services.

The Singapore Exchange suffers it's longest downtime

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