back to article Adobe blames 'maintenance failure' for 27-hour outage

Adobe has blamed a maintenance failure for the 27-hour outage in its Creative Cloud suite that left video and photo editors unable to log into online services. “The failure happened during database maintenance activity and affected services that require users to log in with an Adobe ID,” Adobe said in a blog post apologising …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The entire thing is a shambles and sadly people are falling for it.

    I know of people who have ditched their boxed CS6's for the fantastic offer price Adobe are offering because it's significantly cheaper.

    However all of them have failed to read the small print which states that after a year the price will go back to the normal level which actually works out more expensive for most people

    Adobe Creative Cloud is just a smoke and mirrors operation which purely designed as DRM and a way of extracting money from every customer each month without Adobe ever having to improve their software.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shambles

      Fortunately the non cloud versions are still available on TPB....

  2. Chairo

    Maintenance failure?

    they outsourced their cloud to the cloud? And that could was outsourced to the cloud? And ...

  3. chairman_of_the_bored

    Fail on 2 counts

    1) Unfortunately, monopolies of any type are Bad Things - Adobe (regardless of their incompetence) got away with it simply because in the media industries they are almost impossible to replace. Hobbyists can use cheaper or free alternatives, but pros are stuck.

    2) I have always thought that "Cloud" was a stupid person's idea of an intelligent thing to do (The term cloud should be only loosely associated with the Adobe offering, as all the processing takes place on the user's PC, and only the licensing method relies on the cloud). Instead of wasting time attacking millions of low-value targets one at a time, hackers just have to go for the one single honey-pot. And they do. And Adobe will not be the last big name to wake up with a gigantic omelette on its corporate face.

    1. Rob Carriere

      ...wake up with a gigantic omelette on its corporate face.

      So they have omelet for breakfast. No biggie to them.

      The critical thing here is that they have a captive audience. People will write angry tweets, blogs and what have you and they will keep paying Adobe. Unless and until somebody writes a viable alternative to CS, they have no choice but to keep paying Adobe.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: ...wake up with a gigantic omelette on its corporate face.

        "...viable alternative to CS, they have no choice but to keep paying Adobe."

        Or buy the current perpetual licensed version, or download a pirate copy.

    2. Fatman

      Re: Fail on 2 counts

      And Adobe will not be the last big name to wake up with a gigantic omelette shit on its corporate face.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WOW fuck, that must be some database... it took them 27 hours to restore it?

    Presuambly at some point in that 27 hours they must have considered the options available to them, you know the restore the service, invoke DR questions you run through in those cases. Also, they went with the restore rather than the invoke approach. You have to wonder why... would an invoke take even longer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "WOW fuck, that must be some database... it took them 27 hours to restore it?"

      Probably using some crap like Mongo that relies on commit to memory and found it was totally trashed...

  5. Eradicate all BB entrants

    While the market for DTP desktops .....

    ..... is no longer Apples core business, wouldn't the fact that as people are not upgrading CS mean they also will not be upgrading the Pro's?

    Hmmm I wonder where I can get my hands on a load of first generation Intel Pro's and some boxed copies of CS3 :D

  6. bigtimehustler

    Crazy, does the new version after CS6 actually offer anything that 90% of the people subscribing will ever need?

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Everybody take note

    I woke up this morning and, to my amazement, GIMP and Photoshop CS2 were both still working on my Linux machine. There was absolutely no downtime with my creative department.

    Just sayin'.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel a disturbance in the fashion world

    For 27 hours without someone fixing all those natural waist lines and skin imperfections must have been like living in the real world. Horrible.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I feel a disturbance in the fashion world

      Adobe cloud crashes: Kim Kardashians hit hardest (or other figure/face challenged celebrity of your choice).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I feel a disturbance in the fashion world

        Yuck - Kim is repulsive with a massive arse.

        Jordan please as a slightly better looking example of someone lower class with big tits doing their best for race relations...

    2. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: I feel a disturbance in the fashion world

      Adobe Creative Cloud Down, High Risk of Reality

  9. Gray

    Do not touch the switch ...

    Adobe said: "We have identified the root cause of this failure and are putting standards in place to prevent this from happening again."

    Umm.Hmmm. Taped a note over the switch on the panel: "Do NOT touch this switch (again)!"

    There ... that fixed it.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Do not touch the switch ...

      Maybe they've upgraded the notice from a post-it note to one applied using tape?

    2. Javapapa

      Re: Do not touch the switch ...

      I almost hit the power switch on an IBM System/38 during an interview in 1982. Back then the O/S would have taken 8 hours to prove all objects were present and accounted for before letting users login. My career almost ended before it began.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adobe CC Enterprise Installs

    Were not affected, apparently. Our video production never skipped a beat. Of course, the corporation paid a monumental sum for the privilege, I am sure.

    Such installations have a custom installer (and updates are not available via the usual Adobe Application Manager). So it is more like the boxed CS6 minus the automatic updates. Updates have to be pushed out manually to the workstations.

    I thought it was a PITA until this outage occurred.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That it happened just after patch Tuesday ?

  12. Robert Grant

    Creative department?

    It's possible that applying Photoshop effects to images should not really count as creativity.

    Also if everyone uses the same product, are they really creative? :)

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Creative department?

      I'm sure you meant it as a joke and yes very amusing. Sorry but a lot of photographers resent the implication that we go out snap any old shit, whack it through PS and instantly pop out a masterpiece.

      Sorry to burst your bubble there chum but the old adage G-I-G-O applies to photography and art in general, especially with regards Photoshop or to put it more plainly, "you cannot polish a turd"!

  13. batfastad

    Adobe ID?

    Finally got around to hashing the passwords of Adobe ID accounts - turns out they've ballsed that up as well. My faith in anything Adobe does vanished a long long time ago.

    So the word "cloud" in Creative Cloud actually just means, license activation/DRM?

    1. myarse

      Re: Adobe ID?

      Exactly, there is no fabled cloud* in this case just an encrypted ex that rings up the mothership before launching. DRM at its finest.

      * Well there are some features that are in the cloud, like sendnow, but nothing that should stop your core applications from working.

  14. Mad Chaz

    Cloud is the label they stick on anything that requires the internet now. I think subscription services like this are a really bad idea for a single reason. No SLA. All those software compagnies used to dishing out software and not caring if it crashes on 5% of the install base when they update is fine when they can externalise the cost (let the client deal with the issue), but if you force people to use your servers, people will need to start requiring garanteed uptime.

    I'm sure a lot of studios that got hit by this are not looking into that.

    1. Captain DaFt

      "I'm sure a lot of studios that got hit by this are not looking into that."

      And more than a few have been looking into this as well:

  15. Mage Silver badge

    I have much sympathy

    For creative people that have no choice but to use Adobe Products.

    Too much to hope for a U-turn and all local SW to work without Internet connection/log in?

    I seriously doubt that the Cloud Subscription model will save customers money in the longer term. It's designed to make Adobe, Microsoft etc more money. So "savings" are impossible.

    1. h3

      Re: I have much sympathy

      Some of the Microsoft ones can save money. e.g Intune (Instead of paying staff or contractors).

  16. Stoneshop

    Richard Stevens doesn't use Adobe

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the other hand...

    All my creatives stamped their feet and demanded Creative Cloud with the usual refrain "all the files that come in from customers are new format and need it" (of course they are...), so, being the golden department, they got it. What a fecking deployment nightmare that was. And now it doesn't work. Oops!

    1. MD Rackham

      Re: On the other hand...

      If you're going to tell a story, get the details right.

      If they have annual CC subscription, the software keeps working for 99 days without being able to phone home. With month-to-month it's 7 days.

      So except for those stuck in the middle of uninstalling/reinstalling the software, or those who rely on the few actual "cloud" features Adobe offers, how was it "not working" during the outage?

      (Not to excuse Adobe (from anything)--TypeKit users were truly screwed by the outage--but most of the talk I heard about how "I can't use Photoshop" came from people using CS3 and looking for an excuse for missing their deadline.)

      1. The Mole

        Re: On the other hand...

        I don't have it so can't say for sure but I'd assume it would depend on how the service failed as to whether people were impacted.

        Presumably the software attempts to connect every time it is started (to ensure you are always at the start of your 7 days no internet period). If it manages to connect to the authorization server but that server is sending a authorization denied for everybody then that would stop everybody from working. I'd further assume even if you then disconnect your network cable the software would have remembered that your last attempt was denied and still not let you log in.

        You are probably right if it was unable to phone home for the entire period (or if the authorization server was actually non-responsive) it would have kept working, but for most people it would have been phoning home.and based on the outcry I assume it was returning a not authorized response.

      2. heenow

        Re: On the other hand...

        I have the month-to-month and I got the standard message when I'm not online. This time it said it will continue to work until August 20th., which is one helluvalot longer than 7 days. I'm not sure where you got that, because it's never been 7 days. Not sure where you got the 99 days, either.

        Also, how did one poster say he had 22 people unable to work?

  18. Tom 7

    Did they actually write their own cloud?


  19. cyberelf

    If something ain't broke - don't fix it !

    'The Reg has asked Adobe what that “root cause” might be, but the company hadn’t gotten back to us at the time of publication.'

    Most likely a failed upgrade to the software, if something ain't broke - don't fix it !

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: If something ain't broke - don't fix it !

      if something ain't broke - don't fix it !

      Frankly, this is a bit 60's. Today you CAN fix it - if you have the automated test cases ready to run at the drop of a hat.

  20. ecofeco Silver badge

    Maintenance failure?

    Doesn't he mean a "fail-over" failure?

    At least now we know that Adobe has no "Plan B".

  21. Frank N. Stein

    Adobe can have their cloud subscription nonsense. I'm fine with CS6 on my Macs and PC. They work quite well and are not dependent on cloud services. They're not new and may lack some new features I don't need or care about, but that's fine with me.

  22. Kurt

    Designer of 16 years

    How does a company, become one that you had respected and admired, turn into one that you wish you could take a shower after every use?

    It's a belief in a product that you put trust in, and truly Adobe, your insistence to push your crappy cloud, have left me with nothing but loathing for you. Oh Quark, with your spacebar folly and alpha channels, you are now sadly on my mind in this era. Since you insist to wallow neck deep in the same mire as Electronic Arts, your reputation is one that cares only for cranking out updates, to justify raping end users in monthly fees. If there ever becomes a viable alternative to CS6, I will not hesitate to sink my cash into it and be free of your product all together.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If the US Congress wants to pass laws..

    ... to penalize online web firms for failing to screen Malware ads, I think they need to look at this case too. There needs to be harsh penalties and executive responsibility for companies like Adobe that force their customers into a stranglehold, but then offer few protections in the event of a meltdown.

    This is clearly a case of bungee management and short term'ism so the execs can hit cost saving targets, get their bonuses and then bugger off. There needs to be laws to protect the consumer from similar cost saving vulture business models.

  24. Mitoo Bobsworth
    Thumb Down

    No excuses.

    If this is Adobes' forward choice of business model, no excuse/explanation is going to satisfy the end user. How many deadlines were borked from this outage? How many client/service relationships are going through degrees of damage control? Will they offer a refund to their subscribers by way of apology/compensation? That, at least, would return a hint of genuine contrition & credibility to their user base.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When 'Cloud Computing' secretly means 'Trusted Computing'?

    How many more of these Adobe like meltdowns before executives get the message that we don't all want this business model. How many twitter protests will it take to get shrink wrapped software back again? The executives think there's no going back. But if enough protest....

    There are so many horrible things that can go wrong, and this is just one example. Adobe will fix this and screw up again just like last year. Why? Because we don't live in an era of human+system reliable, hack-proof, constant net access. The only people who do are those in the boardrooms of all the tech companies making these calls, and they want everything kept on their servers, close to them and under their total control.

    The next time and there will be a next time, I picture a scenario where hackers sell legitimate ID's (38 million to be exact) to other customers in other countries. Try explaining that to some outsourced dumb support. No I am the real customer, honest!

  26. EddieElche

    I use cc as an ordinary punter and I could work with PS, AE and Premiere Pro over this supposed blackout. Didn't give me any problems at all.

    Personally I prefer the subscription deal to the box set, which I always struggled to afford and as such only updated every third or fourth generation. Now I'm up to date all the time and have access to many more adobe products; more than I've ever had access to at any one time in my career as a freelancer

    I baulked at paying monthly to start with, but for me it does work out better.

  27. EddieElche

    The light room 5.4 update was a total cockup though, and still is far as I can see.

  28. Carl Pearson

    Cloud Schmloud

    Didn't notice a thing. Only switched to this version for the updates to the apps. Even if your machine is offline the apps will work for quite a while.

    Anyone storing their only copy of massive video files via a pukey 'net connection deserves what they get.

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