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Friday, 22 April 2011 10:40

Amazon's cloud breaks

Written by Nick Farell

The little white cloud that cried
While the world+dog claims that cloud-based technology is going to be where it is at, it appears that early adopters are suffering.

Scores of websites and Internet services like Foursquare and Reddit crashed or had limited availability because of problems at a data centre run by Amazon. It seems that such outfits came to rely on Amazon's cloud-based Web Services. While AWS is generally considered reliable because it uses vast numbers of computers, spread out in different data centres the fact that it went tits up so easily is probably a cause for concern. Amazon said the trouble started early in the morning at a data centre in Northern Virginia.  It refused to give any other details.

Meanwhile GPS outift, Foursquare was still experiencing technical issues last night. Social media site Hootsuite  was down completely, as was questions-and-answers site Quora. Reddit was in "emergency read-only mode." The outage will be jolly bad for CEO Jeff Bezos who want his cloud-based services to be as large as Amazon's retail business. One of the biggest problems that users have with cloud-based set ups is that if something goes wrong you rely on someone else to fix it.  If there is a huge outage then you may not have access to your data for some time.

Oddly one the biggest advantages of this sort of system is that is that it is supposed to have lots of back-up.  In this case the back-up appeared to be out-to-lunch with a very attractive person and not that keen to get back to the office.

Nick Farell

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-3 #1 NickThePrick 2011-04-22 10:54
He could always change his name to Jeff BeNzos....problem solved

(BTW: Does Fudzilla rely on this Cloud service ? The site has been terribly slow at times for the last few days)
+2 #2 123s 2011-04-22 15:18
Dats why cloud computing isnt that great, specially the way google wants it to do with all the data stored there and not local.
+3 #3 gamoniac 2011-04-22 16:41
Cloud computing is just another corporate executive bandwagon. It has its place, but there are two reasons I will not bet mission critial data on cloud storage:

1. Cloud storage are all over the world - you have no control where the data is kept (and rightly so). That also means you don't know who has access to it. While your gov can't even subpoena it (an attractive reason for some), some dude getting paid $10/hr has full access to it.

2. Put all our eggs in one huge basket. We rely so much on so few, centralizing all our data in one single place... We are practically asking for terrorists to hit some data center in a little town with 5 policemen on duty. OK, I am exagerrating, but you get the point.
0 #4 EvilEngineer 2011-04-25 18:11
It wouldn't surprise me if it was their back end storage that went belly up.

Cloud based storage solutions are CRAP..

They are designed to be cheap, and they are... you just get a lot of storage, and pray it doesn't go down. Because the majority of the components are not fault tolerant. Single power supplies, single LCCs, single connections from servers to switches. It's a nightmare if you even consider 99.99% uptime to be to low.

Working in a 5-9s environment, I'd never trust the major vendors' solutions for cloud storage.

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