Amazon S3 Outage, Bad for the Cloud

Amazon’s hosting service, S3, had a massive outage just recently, which in turn had an impact on a lot of web services. The service is usually used to store static stuff like avatar images and such, which means that Twitter was pretty ugly using apps like Twhirl during the outage. Everything is supposed to be back up now.

However, this is indeed horrible for the whole “cloud” concept. As Om Malik points out, the last outage in February and now this certainly underlines the fact that web applications are very fragile. Meanwhile, we’re using Gmail as our main e-mail application, and are moving our Office suites online.

WebWorkerDaily really nails it though, while reasoning around the SLA that guarantees 99.9% uptime:

The requirements for claiming a refund, though, are onerous enough that no one except large users will bother (hey, Amazon, how about an automatic refund when you know your servers are down?).

Yes indeed, Amazon, why not do automatic refunds? In fact, why not do automatic refunds all over the cloud, dear Hosting Companies?

More on Techmeme.

What do you think? Is the cloud all that great?


  1. says

    Perhaps I’m just from the old school, but when things don’t work, I simply deal with them until they come back up or figure out alternatives until the problem is fixed.

    I was a lead systems administrator back before the earth’s crust cooled and there was a Web 1.0 (heck, there wasn’t even a command line interface .97!).

    Things break – you can’t let that derail your own work.

    I’ll admit, though, it’s nice to have the avatars back. :)

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