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Widespread Zoom Outage Temporarily Halts Remote Work, Learning

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Scared Businessman at Computer

A widespread Zoom outage Monday left remote workers unable to connect, and students unable to start their week of remote learning.

Zoom has exploded since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive transition to working from home.

Just before 9 a.m. ET, Zoom said it received reports of users being unable to visit its website. They also couldn’t start and join Zoom meetings and webinars.

By 10 a.m., Zoom said it identified the issue and began working on a fix.

Just after noon, Zoom said it was still in the process of deploying a fix across its cloud. Meeting and webinar service had been restored for most users.

And at 12:37 p.m., Zoom reported resolving the issue preventing users from starting and joining meetings and webinars. Users also were able to sign up for paid accounts, upgrade and manage their service on the Zoom website.

When contacted to find out more about the outage, Zoom sent the following statement:

“We have resolved an issue that caused some users to be unable to start and join Zoom meetings and webinars or manage aspects of their account on the Zoom website. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”

Aftermath of Outage

Lifesize's Bobby Backmann

Lifesize’s Bobby Beckmann

Bobby Beckmann is CTO of Lifesize, a Zoom competitor.

“As millions of K-12 and university students return to classes – in many cases virtually – there will inevitably be added strain on cloud infrastructure and services, layering on top of already record-high usage for business,” he said. “As critical as cloud communication and collaboration tools have become to getting remote work done and facilitating distance learning, organizations must acutely understand their technology providers’ architecture, scalability and commitment to reliability as well as have a backup plan in place for if/when outages occur, to ensure minimal disruption to productivity.”

Liz Beavers is “head geek” at SolarWinds. She said companies need a problem management strategy to minimize the impact of future outages.

SolarWinds' Liz Beavers

SolarWinds’ Liz Beavers

“Companies should look to streamline the IT service desk and build transparency around ticket requests,” she said. “Widely used application outages that affect many people within an organization cause IT teams to become inundated with an influx of requests for the exact same problem. Equipping IT teams with the communication channels to publicize a larger problem across their organization can save them time from having to address tickets individually. Documenting the troubleshooting process in the form of knowledge articles also provides an educational resource for employees should similar outages occur in the future.”


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