Last week Optus was down for half a day. As Australia’s second-largest telecom, millions were left with no phone or internet access, impacting transportation, payment systems, and essential services like hospitals. There have also been several other significant partial internet outages this year, but most of them failed to make the front page like the Optus outage did.
This raises some critical questions like:
- Will the system work when there is an internet outage?
- What won’t it do when the internet is down?
- What will have been lost after the internet is restored?
- Is it worth having a cloud-based system?
The answer will vary depending on the system.
For Clever Logger the short answer is:
“Data gathering or alert notification may be impacted while the Internet is down, but all data will be collected and available after the Internet is restored. While the internet is down you may not have full awareness of what is happening. After the internet is restored the gaps will be filled in.”
For some systems, there may be data lost, especially if the internet is down for more than a couple of hours. Is it worth having a cloud-based system if it doesn’t work when there is an internet outage? Absolutely. They work 99.9% of the time and that is peace of mind.
Now for the longer answer…
Collecting the data
When a device loses communication with the server, two outcomes are possible. A reliable data logger, such as Clever Logger devices, will store the data in its own internal memory, ensuring the temperature history is retained. In contrast, other devices, often referred to as “sensors” or “beacons,” lack their own memory, resulting in the loss of collected information if there is no server connection.
The next question in regards to loggers is how long will it be before their memory is full and additional data is lost. Clever Logger loggers will store many weeks’ worth of data so unless the internet is somehow lost for a month There is no risk of data loss. Some systems have a limited data storage capacity, often just a few hours. The Optus outage would have likely exceeded the storage limit for these systems, resulting in data loss.
All cloud-based systems depend on internet connectivity to transfer data from loggers to the cloud server. While systems like Clever Logger rely on your internet connection, others rely on mobile data. Neither is perfect, as the Optus outage demonstrated. In the case of the Optus outage, other systems were significantly impacted because they relied on 5G or 4G data.
Earlier this year, there was an NBN outage that had a more significant impact on our customers. We disabled offline alarms while this was happening (it was relatively short and very low risk of temperature alarms) and most customers were not aware of the issue. Not having access means that you won’t have current information about what the temperature is, and the system can’t alert you to high or low temperatures. This leaves you unaware of the situation until the system is back online.
Informing you about an issue
There are a variety of notification methods, all of which rely on an internet connection from the cloud server to the server for sending information. If this connection is down, alarms won’t be triggered. There are also additional, specific requirements for each notification method including:
- Email – requires that you have internet access to the mail server
- Phone notification – requires that your phone has internet access
Currently Clever Logger only supports email and phone notifications, but we have plans to support SMS and voice notifications in the future.
- SMS – requires that your phone has a connection to the carrier
- Voice – requires that your phone has a connection to the carrier
Showing you what is happening
To gain real-time insights into the ongoing temperature conditions and monitor the system’s status, it is essential to have internet access. This connection allows users to access and retrieve up-to-the-minute temperature data, enabling a timely response to any variations or anomalies.
While some loggers have display screens and can show you current data directly, the internet connection to the cloud server remains crucial for comprehensive monitoring and accessing historical records.
What happened to CleverLogger
during the Optus outage?
Very few sites experienced offline gateways, resulting in a lack of real-time temperature information until the issue was resolved. Many users faced difficulties accessing the app on their phones for alarm notifications or monitoring, with our service being a lower priority in most cases. Additionally, some users couldn’t use computers to check the situation.
Upon internet restoration, everyone regained access, and the missing data was automatically retrieved.
We are always here to answer your questions. We want you to be confident that your fridges and freezers are reliably monitored. If you have any concerns, please let us know. Our contact details are