Five Website Outages of 2017 and How to Prevent Them

by January 4, 2018


Now that 2017 has come to an end, it’s time to look back and reflect on some of the biggest website outages of the year and most importantly, how to prevent similar failures in the new year. When a site goes down, revenue is lost and your customer experience suffers. So let’s take a look at some examples from last year that likely could have been prevented with synthetic monitoring tools.


Amazon Web Services

It’s no secret that a majority of companies rely on AWS to run their online business. So if they go down, the effects are felt by many. In February,  AWS suffered a four-hour outage which in turn caused 54 of the top 100 internet retailers to suffer a decrease of 20% or greater in performance with some sites going down completely.

The worst part about this one, if you were one of those effected by this outage, you may not have known until it was too late.



Your site crashing on major retail holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday means tons of money lost. And this was no different for major home improvement retailer, Lowe’s. Their site went down the morning of Black Friday as thousands of customers were trying to shop the sale. While they did get the site back up and running, there’s no doubt that they lost sales.

synthetic monitoring


Southwest Airlines

Like major retailers, airlines also offer discounted prices on Black Friday/ Cyber Monday and this Cyber Monday didn’t go as planned for Southwest Airlines. Their site went down for about an hour – serving up customers trying to book travel an unexpected error message.

synthetic monitoring


J. Crew

J. Crew was another retailer who suffered a Cyber Monday outage. The major deals being offered caused the high amounts of traffic to crash the site for at least an hour. As a result, they had to extend their sale to give customers time to shop the deals.

synthetic monitoring



The much-anticipated Season 7 Premiere of Game of Thrones this summer had viewers streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now only for the sites and applications to crash during the East Coast premiere. For those Game of Thrones fans out there – there’s nothing worse than waiting all that time for Season 7 only to be met with an outage.


How to Prevent Major Outages in 2018

Although eliminating outages all together may be the ultimate goal, it’s just not realistic. Outages happen, but the scale at which they occur can easily be minimized by leveraging preventative tools, like a synthetic monitoring solution.

With CA’s synthetic monitoring solution, CA App Synthetic Monitor, you can proactively monitor your sites performance 24×7 from over 90 locations worldwide. With the option to run checks in 1-minute or 5-minute intervals, you will be alerted to any issue (big or small) so you can remediate it before your online experience suffers. Additionally, CA App Synthetic Monitor also allows you to hold your SaaS vendors accountable with SLA compliance reports – so you know when your business is affected.

Synthetic Monitoring + Real User Monitoring

To further the insights your synthetic tool will provide, you can leverage a real-user monitoring solution, like app analytics to see exactly how users are experiencing your sites and applications in real-time.


Here’s to providing a better customer experience in the new year. Cheers!