On March 20th, Amazon Web Services suffered an outage that affected thousands of businesses. This was the latest in a string of outages for AWS, which has caused many businesses to reevaluate their use of the service.
AWS is a massive cloud computing platform that offers services such as storage, computation, and networking. Many businesses rely on AWS to host their websites and applications, and the recent outages have caused many of them to reconsider their reliance on the service.
The March 20th outage was caused by a power issue at one of Amazon’s data centers. This led to widespread outages across the globe, affecting businesses both large and small. Some of the largest companies affected by this outage included Amazon itself and Amazon-owned Twitch. Amazon has had two previous outages in 2017, the first occurring on February 28th and the second occurring on March 6th. Amazon is currently working with customers to address issues related to these outages, but some businesses have already decided to take their data elsewhere due to the repeated outages.
One such business is GonnaGeek, a website that provides news and information about various media franchises such as Star Trek and Doctor Who. They host their site using Amazon Web Services, but after the February 28th outage they began looking for alternatives. They discovered that most cloud hosting providers offer managed services where experts handle server maintenance and upgrades, making it easier for businesses to focus on running their operations. GonnaGeek opted to use Amazon’s managed services and their site was not affected by the March 20th outage.
Meanwhile, Amazon users such as Twitch and Netflix received emails from Amazon apologizing for the outages and assuring them that they were working on improving service. A representative from Amazon has stated that AWS is now operating normally and that Amazon is working with their customers to address any issues, but many businesses are still struggling to deal with downtime. For some companies, including those running friend-finder apps or those serving real time stock data, a loss of service can be devastating.
In recent years there have been increased calls for more regulation in the cloud computing sector as more businesses discover the benefits of using cloud services such as Amazon Web Services. Many people believe that the US needs to create stricter regulations in order to prevent outages such as these from happening, while others feel that more regulation is unnecessary and would simply discourage competition and innovation. Amazon Web Services is the most popular cloud computing service in the world, but Amazon is not the only company that provides these services. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are Amazon’s biggest competitors, and both companies suffered outages on March 23rd; Amazon also experienced another outage that same day.
As Amazon Web Services continues to be one of the largest providers of cloud computing services in the world, it can be easy for businesses to become complacent. However, after several outages many companies are realizing that using Amazon might not be as reliable as they had thought. Amazon has reportedly lost $7 billion due to lost sales because of these outages, let alone damages to their reputation. Businesses should take this into account when evaluating whether or not to use Amazon Web Services and should be prepared for future outages. Managed IT services might be a good option for businesses that are unable to cope with outages or data loss. While Amazon Web Services is working to improve their service, it is important to remember that they are not the only provider of cloud computing services and that other providers might be a better fit for your business.