Amazon Outage Shows Exposure

With the rush to move data to the cloud companies all over took steps to ensure avaliablity and reliability with the companies they performed due diligence with.  Amazon was and is probably the largest of this business segment.  Their service was so well built that even their rival Netflix used them to house their data.  All of that reliability came crumbling down on Sunday when the service had an outage.  Netflix, Amazon Video, and Tinder (a hookup site for people, I could write a whole article about this one) were all victims of this outage.  As a result many individuals were unable to watch movies or find love nearby.

But while movies and hookups were put on hold temporarily, the bigger issue remains in how many companies did this affect?  How many hospitals were unable to access image systems?  How many retail outlets were stuck unable to process orders?  We will never know the real number and Amazon will not disclose the full breadth of the outage so we can only speculate.

The answer to manage data for any organization is not necessarily the cloud.  The cloud will not solve every issue.  The fact remains that you are turning over control of your data to a third party. (I am not speaking of Co-Lo facilities where you put your equipment in their data center)  While the security in these services often prevents them from accessing your actual data, at the end of the day you don't own the hardware.  You don't actually have control of when your data is accessible.

Think of AWS as a shared office.  You pay rent and have access to the building.  But the property manager owns everything and you are trusting that you will have access when you need it and your business will continue to operate.  You are under no illusion that the building is yours.  Data is the same in the cloud.  Unless you re working with a Co-Location facility you are at a loss.

My suggestion for any organization is investigate a hybrid solution.  This way you have the benefits of the cloud but a backup in place if needed.  Amazon, need I remind everyone, never turns a profit.  Just something to think about.