Lessons from the Amazon Cloud Outage

Lessons from the Amazon Cloud Outage

Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock (or maybe a tropical paradise with no Internet connectivity), you must have heard about one of the greatest disasters of the cloud computing industry – Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) outage that happened last week.

Now, mistakes are a part of life, more so in an emergent technology like cloud computing. In fact, history is strewn with quotes that advocate making mistakes as the first step towards excellence –

“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.”
– Ornette Coleman, American jazz legend.

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.”
– Niels Bohr, famous Danish physicist.

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
– John Powell, British composer.

One common theme in all these quotes is “learning from mistakes.” In fact, that is a belief I have presented in earlier articles (See: What Effect Will the Epsilon Data Theft have on Cloud Computing? and Gmail Outage – Is Cloud Computing To Blame? ).

While the incidence of “mistakes” has risen somewhat recently, there’s no reason to “throw the baby with the bathwater” and abandon cloud computing. It would be better to learn a few things from this incident, such as:

  • Understand what you are signing up for – This is very important for any customer of cloud computing. Clarify all the terms of the contract and if anything’s vague (a likely possibility in this brave new world of cloud computing), clear your doubts in writing. As of now, Amazon hasn’t declared the reason for the outage, unacceptable behavior in most business environments. Take steps to make providers accountable.

See: The Small Print in Cloud Computing Contracts

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – In other words, diversify, diversify, and diversify. While going with a single provider offers several cost and operational benefits, it makes sense to diversify. Don’t be tempted into a Gold Rush.

See: How to Avoid a Cloud Computing Gold Rush

  • Realize that risks exist – Cloud computing is NOT Holy Water. Risks exist and you must know how to counter them.

See: Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them)

  • Don’t fire your IT department – While some kind of downsizing makes sense, removing all in-house expertise when you go on the cloud is definitely not recommended.
  • Don’t go for the lowest bidder – While many would say that Amazon is one of the best, and most expensive providers around, not everyone uses the full gamut of services offered, including backup plans and redundant offerings. Therefore, choose what you think you will need in difficult times, not the option that makes the least dent on your income statement.

Cloud computing is not perfect, no technology is. But its advantages far outweigh the risks, making it a winning proposition. And remember, it took the computing industry four decades to go from room-sized machines to ones that fit on your desk; by that token, cloud computing is improving exponentially.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Share

One Response to Lessons from the Amazon Cloud Outage

  1. Cloud Computing – Threat or Opportunity? Part 1 | CloudTweaks.com - Cloud Computing Community says:

    [...] on the cloud big time, unless they have regular SNAFUs like the Amazon outage in April (See: Lessons from the Amazon Cloud Outage), things can only get [...]

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Advertising Programs

Click To Find Out!

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts

CloudTweaks has enjoyed a great relationship with many businesses, influencers and readers over the years, and it is one that we are interested in continuing. When we meet up with prospective clients, our intent is to establish a more solid relationship in which our clients invest in a campaign that consists of a number of

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate long term with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

Please review the guidelines before applying.

Whitepapers

Top Research Assets

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

HP OpenStack® Technology Breaking the Enterprise Barrier

Explore how cloud computing is a solution to the problems facing data centers today and highlights the cutting-edge technology (including OpenStack cloud computing) that HP is bringing to the current stage. If you are a CTO, data center administrator, systems architect, or an IT professional looking for an enterprise-grade, hybrid delivery cloud computing solution that’s open,

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security

Public Cloud Flexibility, Private Cloud Security Cloud applications are a priority for every business – the technology is flexible, easy-to-use, and offers compelling economic benefits to the enterprise. The challenge is that cloud applications increase the potential for corporate data to leak, raising compliance and security concerns for IT. A primary security concern facing organizations moving