Verizon: Taking Cloud Down for Upgrades Thing of the Past

Weekend’s upgrades included addition of seamless upgrade capability

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

January 12, 2015

2 Min Read
Verizon: Taking Cloud Down for Upgrades Thing of the Past
Inside a Verizon data center. (Photo: Verizon)

Upgrade work that took Verizon Cloud down early Saturday morning was complete on Sunday evening, the company said in a statement issued Sunday.

Even though the provider notified customers about the upcoming downtime more than one week in advance, anticipated length of the cloud outage (up to 48 hours) was unusual. Since all data centers hosting Verizon Cloud would be affected, customers that had not set up architectures that enabled them to failover to a different cloud provider would have to accept a potentially lengthy downtime window.

It turns out that part of the upgrade was meant to address precisely this kind of issue. Over the weekend, the provider implemented “seamless upgrade functionality,” meant to enable it to upgrade the cloud infrastructure without impacting customer operations.

Major cloud providers usually conduct “rolling maintenance,” or upgrading one availability zone at a time. This way customers can shift workloads from data center to data center to avoid downtime.

In its announcement, Verizon spun the upgrade as one that enabled users to live through its upgrades easier than competitors’, making rolling maintenance unnecessary.

“Many cloud vendors require customers to set up virtual machines in multiple zones or upgrade domains, which can increase the cost and complexity,” the statement read. “Additionally, those customers must reboot their virtual machines after maintenance has occurred.”

All maintenance and upgrades to Verizon Cloud will happen in the background without taking the cloud down and affecting customers, according to the provider.

The company announced Verizon Cloud in 2013. This is a new cloud platform which operates separately from the company’s older enterprise, managed, and federal cloud services. Customers on those “legacy” platforms were not affected by the weekend’s outage.

Data centers that host Verizon Cloud are in Culpeper, Virginia, Englewood, Colorado, Miami, Santa Clara, California, Amsterdam, London, and São Paulo, among other locations.

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