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Amazon EC2’s outage: what have we learned?

Many start-up hosting companies may have fallen into the “Cloud” bandwagon, believing that it is the answer to the availability problems faced by standard hosting companies. However, last weeks Amazon EC2’s outage has caused a lot of those start-ups to wonder if they made the right decision. Lets see what we’ve learned from last weeks events.

Outages happen.
That’s just the way the Internet is. A lot of companies are not only judged by their availability, but also how quickly they recover from an outage. From a hosting providers point of view, this means a lot of planning. Amazon EC2 locations are composed of Regions and Availability Zones. Availability Zones are distinct locations that are engineered to be insulated from failures in other Availability Zones and provide inexpensive, low latency network connectivity to other Availability Zones in the same Region. You can launch your instances in multiple Availability Zones, you protect yourself from a single point of failure. Amazon offers the Elastic Load Balancing service, which does just this. However, last weeks issues resulted in the whole Region going down. What do you do then? One option would be to run another software load balancer over the cloud and run instances in multiple regions. Though possible, this is not easy. It would depend if your Cloud service provider offered you such an option. As of writing this article, no service provider does. Hosting instances with multiple providers is also hard to achieve. Why? Because of a lack of standards and interoperability.

It just goes to show, though leaps and bounds ahead of other options, its a far cry away from guaranteeing fine-nines.

About the Author:

Hamish joined Bobcares in July of 2004, and since then has grown to be well versed in the Control Panels and Operating systems used in the Web Hosting industry today. He is highly passionate about Linux and is a great evangelist of open-source. When not at work, he keeps himself busy populating this blog with both technical and non-technical posts. When he is not on his Xbox, he is an avid movie lover and critic

Bobcares is a server management company that helps businesses deliver uninterrupted and secure online services. Our engineers manage close to 51,500 servers that include virtualized servers, cloud infrastructure, physical server clusters, and more.

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