5 Things Learned After Recent Amazon Cloud Outage

Cloud technology is the technology of the future. Companies store information online at remote locations. Users access the data by logging on to the Internet, meaning they can work from anywhere. The benefits are obvious… companies don’t have to invest in expensive network servers and the staff to maintain them.

But nothing is perfect. Here are five things to know about Amazon’s Cloud DynamoDB outage.

1. On September 20 at 2:19 a. m. PDT, Amazon’s U.S.-East data center experienced service outages causing slowdowns and service disruptions for some of their big-name clients, including: NetFlix, Instagram, Vine, Amazon’s own Alexa and Instant Video services

2. The problem was fixed in less than one hour. But it continues to impact Amazon and it’s clients. Estimates show Amazon lost as much as $1,100 in net sales per second.

3. Cloud providers recommend geographical redundancy. Customers should spread out their services among multiple data centers. If one goes down, the other maintains service. In practice, few companies employ this strategy. Why? Companies fear that having backup data centers will increase their costs.

4. Instagram is owned by Facebook and Vine is owned by Twitter. Both have their own cloud-based networks. Both have yet to bring these subsidiaries into their own networks. Maybe now they will.

5. One solution is for clients to “failover” to another Amazon region when US-East has service outages. They would have duplicate data in a second regional data center. But using a second center will cost more. Or clients can keep their own servers running as backup. However, this adds an estimated 25% or more to the cost of a cloud system.

Cloud computing is the technology of the future, but until geographical redundancy is the rule rather than the exception, it will continue to be a less than perfect business strategy.