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

Follow us

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.
Follow us

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.


CloudTweaks Sponsors - Find out more!


Popular

Top Viral Impact

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends For nearly every business, the concept of business intelligence is nothing new. Ambitious organizations have been searching for any type of data-driven advantage for some time now – perhaps for as long as they’ve existed. However, the historical use of competitive intelligence pales in comparison to the…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

An excellent infographic provided by AwesomeCloud which predicts a continued high level of growth in the cloud computing industry. Potentially staggering numbers for Public Cloud IT Services of $100 Billion by 2016. Infographic Source: AwesomeCloud About Latest Posts Follow usSteve PrenticeSteve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture…

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cloud Infographic – Cyber Security And The New Frontier

Cyber Security: The New Frontier The security environment of the 21st century is constantly evolving, and it’s difficult to predict where the next threats and dangers will come from. But one thing is clear: the ever-expanding frontier of digital space will continue to present firms and governments with security challenges. From politically-motivated Denial-of-Service attacks to…


Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and 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.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021
contact@cloudtweaks.com

Join our newsletter