Amazon’s Downtime Raises Concerns

Online retailing giant, Amazon Inc. experienced a power outage in June, caused problems for major websites such as Foursquare and Reddit by making them unavailable for more than 24 hours. The companies ended up losing valuable data.

Though a temporary loss of power; it has left many concerns on the reliability of these digital clouds It shows that these virtual clouds are not totally secured by real clouds, the way the severe storm affected the AWS cloud drastically, making it unavailable for 30 minutes and affected popular services such as Pinterest, Netflix, and Instagram as they are hosted on AWS.

AWS issued an apology and offered compensation to its subscribers. The company recovered Netfix and Pinterest services, whereas Instagram remained down during Saturday. Amazon also initiated investigation for this power outage. This loss couldn’t have occurred at a worse time when Google also recently announced its Compute Engine, which is an Infrastructure as a Service cloud; competing with Amazon and Microsoft.

This outage however, leaves an impression that while digital clouds offer many utilities packed with added security; this service is still vulnerable to many failures and unexpected surroundings. The storms in last June 29 caused a major power failure from New Jersey to Indiana, also resulted in wiping many trees off the soil, causing a lot of causalities in Virginia.

Though the downtime only lasted for 30 minutes, the recovery of virtual machines took much efforts and time before the services made available to its users. Another point of concern was that data centers were supposed to have back-up generators installed for limited and unexpected power failure, hence, Amazon failed to avail theirs.

The most important aspect here is that it is not the first time an outage has been experienced. Rather, Virginia datacenter experienced such an outage for the second time in a month because of a problematic generator cooling fan.

This failure raises many concerns associated with virtual storage, for which appropriate measures are required by the cloud services providers, in order to offer secure and continuous services to clients.

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