Amazon, Amaz-off, Amaz-on-again

Amazon, Amaz-off, Amaz-on-again

Amazon, Amaz-off, Amaz-on-again

On the afternoon of Monday August 19, two strange and unsettling events occurred. First, the perpetually-available ecommerce behemoth Amazon.com vanished, taking its Canadian cousin, Amazon.ca along with it. Shoppers were greeted with a 404 Not Found/Fail Whale page and were encouraged to come back later. The outage lasted somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes.

The second strange and unsettling event happened on a freeway north of Los Angeles, where actor Dick Van Dyke narrowly cheated death after his Jaguar burst into flames. He was pulled to safety and suffered no injuries. Ironically, the car was reduced to just soot and ashes.

These two events follow on the heels of a brief and unexplained outage at Google on August 16, which was calculated to have cost Google about half-a million dollars in lost ad revenue, and resulted in an enormous 40% drop in web traffic.

Dick van Dyke's burnt out Jaguar sports car

[Photo credit: Arlene Van Dyke/Vine.com]

In all of these cases there are serious repercussions with regard to brand and reliability.

In terms of the Amazon outage, and according to an infographic produced by the ecommerce firm 500 Friends, reproduced in December 2012 in PCMag.com, Amazon’s revenue is estimated to be $9,823 every five seconds, or $117,882 per minute. Therefore an outage of forty minutes can translate into almost five million dollars in lost sales.

There are many more minutes left in every single day to more than cover the losses of such an economic brownout. It is akin to one spilled carton of milk in the neighbourhood supermarket; it’s just part of doing business.  But the fact remains that commerce on the cloud, for this biggest of the big players, as well as for all of the smaller players that surround it, still requires a careful and well-leveraged plan of action.

Rob Malnati, VP of Marketing at Cedexis agrees. “This is why organizations must remain committed to a multi-vendor strategy,” he states. His company monitors performance on the global cloud system and assists clients in ensuring real-time reliability (see this post for more detail on Cedexis.)  According to his people, the blackout was limited to Amazon and was not indicative of damage to EC2 Virginia, Amazon’s prime cloud provider.

However in an age of heightened sensitivity to cyber-attacks on prominent organizations, these momentary lapses add up in the minds of consumers and threaten to turn into a lasting impression. This is where Dick Van Dyke comes in. All of the years of marketing and brand management that Jaguar Land Rover PLC has poured into their cars over the years has the potential to disappear literally in a puff of smoke, should the public attach the Dick Van Dyke fire to their perception of Jaguar cars generally. This would be unfair, but it is how the consumer mindset works.

Such fears crawl up the corporate backbone towards the mind of the CEO, already leery of moving too quickly to the cloud, preferring in many cases to keep mission-critical applications securely in-house. Such fears are not easily put to rest. If the outages were caused by a security breach somewhere, that’s a problem that undermines the credibility of the entire cloud system.  If the outages were caused by a back-hoe cutting a cable, or a technician uploading a patch incorrectly, it calls into question the redundancy and failsafes that customers are told exist.

The lesson in all of this is that the don’t-put-your-eggs-in-one-basket approach applies equally to the cloud. Just as most of the cars that travel the freeways of L.A. don’t actually burst into flames unexpectedly, so it is that most of the cloud is safe, secure and reliable. However, as any reputable cloud provider will tell you, there are risks, which make it incumbent on all C-suite executives to ensure that they are fully involved in their company’s cloud policy, and that its rollout and maintenance is spread across a workable number of suppliers and experts.

By Steve Prentice

About Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

The Modular Drone Concept In Action

The Modular Drone Concept In Action

The Modular Drone Concept As the Internet of Things (IoT) world explodes around us, it is interesting to think about new ways of solving old problems. For example, drones allow for a potential solutions to a number of long-standing problems. Aerial drones that can carry modules are appearing. These new modular drones have a number…

Why Cloud Compliance Doesn’t Need To Be So Overly Complicated

Why Cloud Compliance Doesn’t Need To Be So Overly Complicated

Cloud Compliance  Regulatory compliance is an issue that has not only weighed heavily on the minds of executives, security and audit teams, but also today, even end users. Public cloud adds more complexity when varying degrees of infrastructure (depending on the cloud model) and data fall out of the hands of the company and into…

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Financial

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Financial

Are You Cloud Ready: Financial In my previous article, I discussed several different points about moving to the cloud. A lot of companies do it for many reasons, but the majority of them in my experience normally come down to two major reasons: 1) Financial 2) Security of business. The security tab isn’t the same…

Managing Cloud Applications Among The Business Regulations

Managing Cloud Applications Among The Business Regulations

Managing  Cloud Business Regulations Cloud applications must be managed in a way that complies with the many different government standards in the United States. As more cloud applications are being implemented in businesses of every industry, companies need a way to ensure compliance. Some of these regulations include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA),…

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud: Design For the last few months, we have been discussing getting ready to go to the cloud. We have covered topics such as Financial and Business Security reasons. We have even discussed the type of knowledge you should obtain. This month, we are going to take…

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones From Apple, Samsung and HTC Promise To Light Up 2016

New Smartphones from Apple, Samsung and HTC (Sponsored post courtesy of Verizon Wireless) The launch of the Galaxy S7 Edge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona during February was the first shot in a vintage year for mobile phones. The S7 is an incredible piece of hardware, but launches from HTC and Apple later in the…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

How Successful Businesses Ensure Quality Team Communication

Quality Team Communication  (Sponsored post courtesy of Hubgets) Successful team communication and collaboration are as vital to project and overall business success as the quality of products and services an organization develops. We rely on a host of business tools to ensure appropriate customer interactions, sound product manufacturing, and smooth back-end operations. However, the interpersonal relationships…

Featured Sponsored Articles
How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

How To Develop A Business Continuity Plan Using Internet Performance Management

Internet Performance Management Planning CDN Performance Series Provided By Dyn In our previous post, we laid out the problems of business continuity and Internet Performance Management in today’s online environment.  In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can use traffic steering capabilities to execute business continuity planning and…

Featured Sponsored Articles

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor