Amazon’s Cloud Outage : Impact On Cloud Computing

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Recently, Amazon’s cloud computing services suffered serious disruptions. Large websites such as Foursquare and Reddit became unavailable due to the disruption of Amazon Web Services.

Amazon released their official response in “message 65648“. It seems that the root cause of the outage was failure of some Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes within a single Availability Zone in their US East Region. Last week Amazon notified, by email, all affected customers and indicated a 10 day credit equal to 100% of the usage of EBS Volumes, EC2 and RDS instances within the affected Availability Zone.

This incident is certainly an embarrassment for Amazon. It will, perhaps, cause some to proceed more cautiously in adopting cloud technologies. Companies opting for remote storage of online data is ever increasing. For these companies, turning to cloud computing services is fast, convenient and cheap. But it is not bulletproof. This outage highlight the risks associated with renting a virtual storage.

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It is doubtful, however, that there will be reversal in the trend for cloud adoption. The benefits of cloud computing continue to outweigh the risks for many organizations, especially if those risks are well-managed.

In fact, Forrester research estimates that the market for cloud services will grow from $41 billion in 2010 to over $240 billion by 2020. The Amazon incident is a setback, to be sure, but it is only a speed bump on the road to cloud computing. The experience will be used by Amazon and consumers of cloud services to build better systems improve their planning and take steps to ensure that something like this does not happen again.

Most industry experts see cloud as the future of computing and the Amazon outage is unlikely to change that. They believe that cloud services are still viable for businesses. This outage serves as a “wake-up call” for cloud computing. It brings a lesson to other firms that are embracing the technology.

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