Amazon Outage: Is it a story of a conspiracy?


Last week my Twitter blinked massively by news magazines and cloud blogers that reported on the extraordinary news: “The cloud computing crashed”. Amazon AWS had suffered a major outage in its US East facility. This was the worst in cloud computing’s and Amazon’s history. This failure affected major sites such as Heroku, Reddit, Foursquare, Quora and many more well-known internet services hosted on EC2. From what I read, it seems that automated processes began replicating a large number of EBS volumes, which harmed EBS performance and availability across multiple availability zones in north Virginia region.


“..However badly they’ve been affected, providers have sung Amazon’s praises in recognition of how much it’s helped them run a powerful infrastructure at lower cost and effort.” Seven lessons to learn from Amazon’s outage (ZDNet SaaS Blog)

It seems as it were the cloud itself wanted to raise its head to show its power to everyone. Could that be an Amazon marketing drill?  Following the lessons that were learned and after a week of an extensive web discussion it seems that `cloud debaters` and Amazon customers find themselves forgiving Amazon for its failure.

“It was the cloud’s shining moment, exposing the strength of cloud computing….if your systems failed in the Amazon cloud this week, it wasn’t Amazon’s fault. You either deemed an outage of this nature an acceptable risk or you failed to design for Amazon’s cloud computing model.” The AWS Outage: The Cloud’s Shining Moment (O’Reilly Media)

Cloud and IT professionals even claims that it wasn’t Amazon’s fault. They say that the customers should have been expecting the worst and make sure that their system architecture aligned with this option of failure. Taking in mind that Amazon stood with its contract and the SLA was not violated, makes me think that maybe the failure was planned so fine to make sure not to put the business at risk of lawsuits.

The expansion of the problem from one availability zone to others in the same region was not expected by Amazon customers and this fact made the debate even stronger. Due to that AWS customers will need to re-examine their architecture for disaster recovery and probably will want invest more including using additional computing resources from their current cloud provider and even from other clouds providers. This obviously will cost more…  Who do you think will pay for that? Maybe this failure was planned by the giants of the cloud? Is it the clouds’ conspiracy?

I will summarize by saying that that after reading so many articles, I think that I found the answers to questions such as – Why did this happen? What can we learn? Is there a future to cloud computing?  .. I felt tired so I decided to go with an amusing approach. Being honest, I don’t believe that there is any cloud conspiracy, specifically not Amazon’s.  I strongly believe that `On-Demand` and cloud computing are inevitable future. One of the most important benefits of cloud computing is the consolidation of applications and data that will make the global world to a real true hence for my opinion a better place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s