Amazon Web Services (AWS) Outage: 3 Key Lessons Learned

It's no secret that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leader in the cloud space - but even giants falte. A massive outage on Feb. 28 at Amazon's S3 storage service provider caused technical issues across the globe, resulting in downtime for many companies and individuals. The outage began at 12:30 p.m. EST and lasted for nearly four and a half hours, affecting approximately 148,213 websites, 121,761 unique domains, and IoT devices like security cameras. The outage occurred when an Amazon team member, tried debugging an issue with a billing system, and incorrectly typed a command that impacted their servers.

Here's What Your Business Should Know About the AWS Outage:

Your Business Deserves a Better Cloud 

Platforms like AWS give businesses a competitive edge by allowing them to deploy and host applications in the cloud. One of the most appealing benefits of cloud storage solutions is high availability, but last week's incident begs the question: what happens when one of the world's top cloud leaders does go down and how does that impact business continuity for its thousands of customers? Moreover, maybe it's time to consider a different cloud provider?

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Relying on the availability of one cloud provider will mean that, at some point, you'll be at the mercy of that provider's ability to get your applications, systems, or website back up and running. Strategically distributing your systems across a small number of cloud providers can help you avoid that situation.  

Geographically Dispersed Cloud Platforms

The AWS incident affected customers on the East Coast. When you choose cloud services that are geographically dispersed, or use a service that replicates your data securely to multiple data centers in diverse locations, you can have confidence that a localized interruption won't impact your business. 



Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Policies

Disasters happen - even in the cloud. When you move services, applications, data, or systems to the cloud, you should not assume that they are automatically backed up, indestructible, or eternal. Make sure you have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place that is tested frequently.

Hyperscale public cloud providers such as Microsoft are dominating the market for public cloud storage. Their innovation, scale, rate of growth, and security standards will make it difficult for other cloud vendors to keep up. Despite this hiccup for AWS, the provider will remain a top contender in the cloud space. We would be surprised, however, if this incident didn't allow Microsoft to slim the gap. Azure's flexible computing power allows businesses to host websites on a secure cloud server, backed by Microsoft's uptime guarantee.

Before choosing a cloud platform, make sure you do your due diligence. From questions on downtime to data security, you should feel confident that the solution you choose is the right fit for your business needs, expectations, and requirements. A Managed Services Provider with cloud expertise can help you determine those needs and expectations and help you select the cloud - or hybrid cloud - solution that works best for your business. If you're ready to learn more about cloud solutions, reach out to iCorps for a free consultation

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