Although we were directly affected by the two hour outage of Amazon Web Services (AWS), it still wasn’t the end of the world. I read several blog entries and comments about “not putting all of your eggs in one basket” and “how cloud computing was unreliable.” However, what other baskets should I put my eggs in, and how would that make my website or Web application more reliable? There aren’t many comparable baskets to put our eggs in, and even if there were, they can’t guarantee that they won’t go down either.
Regardless of what hosting service you decide to use, there will always be a point of failure. Even if the Web server is running the best software and equipment available, all it takes is one little routing issue to screw everything up. That’s probably the reason why AWS went down today — someone pressed the wrong button and poof! All of the data and servers were intact, but nobody could communicate with them.
AWS is special, because it enables smaller companies to do big things. If it wasn’t for AWS, we wouldn’t have been able to do Live Blogging experiments or have built and launched Raven SEO Tools. AWS provides a similar infrastructure of processing, queuing and data storage and delivery that used to only be available to large businesses and heavily funded startups. AWS has literally made high capacity and high demand services available to everyone.
It’s still a big deal that they went down this morning, but it’s not nearly as big of a deal as many people have made it out to be. And as long as this doesn’t become a regular occurrence, I will continue to use and encourage other people to use Amazon Web Services.