The Amazon outage this week brought down millions of businesses, big and small and gives us once more a reminder on how even giants can fall. Companies like Trello, Quora, Alexa and thousands of other smaller businesses experienced downtime or slowdowns due to the Amazon AWS issues.
The problem started at 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday at the company’s data centers in Northern Virginia. According to the company, one of their engineers made a mistake while typing a command to remove some servers from a subsystem. The error removed a larger number of servers and Amazon needed a full system restart.
S3 is experiencing high error rates. We are working hard on recovering.
— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017
Cloud Adoption is Sky-High
The Seattle-based company owns over 40% of the cloud market, and hosts over 150,00 sites. It offers its servers for hire for anyone wishing to develop applications or websites on their infrastructure.
The cloud-based model has been increasingly popular in the last years, with a 2016 RighScale survey showing 95% percent of IT pros use some combination of public or private clouds. Companies like AWS and Microsoft now own a large share of the market and are extremely competitive.
The cloud truly is an attractive model for companies of all sizes. Cloud computing allows companies to get cloud storage with flexible pricing, while offsetting hardware and maintenance costs. However, the latest Amazon outage brings again into question the reliability of cloud services. Amazon boasts 99.99% availability during a year, and for some companies this is enough. Most of the time, an on-premises storage and backup system can offer the same kind of security.
However, to business owners, any kind of downtime can cost dearly. Stats show just one minute of downtime can cost, on average, $926. The damage goes beyond dollars and can mean lost customers and poor brand reputation.
Time to Talk About Availability
The Amazon outage can be an eye-opener and a good point to start the conversation between IT providers and business owners. Here’s a few topics you could approach with your clients:
- It’s a good time to bust common myths about the cloud. Many users believe that ‘cloud data is always safe’ or ‘the cloud never goes down’. That’s just not the case.
- It’s time to ensure companies make an informed decision about cloud, on-premises or hybrid cloud solutions. They need to get a system that’s fit for them and that allows them to change and adapt as they grow.
- There’s never a good business case in storing your data with just one provider. Putting your eggs in one basket might prove a poor decision: the latest Amazon outage took four hours to fix. Ask yourself, could you go without service for that long, and how much money would you lose?
- Businesses need a business continuity plan that will account for every bit of data they have and whatever critical operations they have running. Not being aware of the risks is no longer an option.
A myriad of data protection solutions are available today, whether you are in the small, mid-size or enterprise sector. You can choose reliable scale-out on-premises infrastructure, cloud storage and even SaaS data protection.
So don’t leave your clients in the dark about the cloud: no platform is ever perfect or 100% safe, but life gets easier with a reliable managed service provider on your side.