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As AWS stumbles, have we become too reliant on the cloud?

This is not the first time AWS has experienced these issues. In 2020 they faced a similar outage.

US lawmakers probe whether Amazon misled Congress
Congress is probing the accuracy of Amazon's statements that its algorithm does not advantage its own goods over third-party items - Copyright AFP Hector RETAMAL
Congress is probing the accuracy of Amazon's statements that its algorithm does not advantage its own goods over third-party items - Copyright AFP Hector RETAMAL

Chris Gladwin, CEO and Founder of Ocient told Digital Journal what the recent Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage (as reported in The Washington Post) meant for the company and the major businesses it affected. The downtime ranged across multiple sectors.

AWS’s major outage occurred during December 2021, and it lasted for five hours. The affected customers lost certain application interfaces, with most located in the US-EAST-1 Region of the U.S.

In terms of what happened, Amazon stated: “An automated activity to scale capacity of one of the AWS services hosted in the main AWS network triggered an unexpected behavior from a large number of clients inside the internal network.”

The report continues: “This resulted in a large surge of connection activity that overwhelmed the networking devices between the internal network and the main AWS network, resulting in delays for communication between these networks.”

For Gladwin the need to maintain business continuity empathizes the importance of hybrid/on-premises cloud solutions. A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines an on-premises data center (a private cloud) with a public cloud. This process enables data and applications to be shared between the two systems.

Gladwin begins by considering the extent of the issue that arose from Amazon, noting: “AWS faced an outage that affected a number of companies including, Netflix, Disney+, RIng and more.”

The big names impacted will no doubt not be happy this repeat event, says Gladwin. He notes: “Unfortunately, this is not the first time AWS has experienced these issues. In 2020 they faced a similar outage.”

Part of the reason for the scale of the incident, says Gladwin, is due to the over-reliance upon a single technological solution. He opines: “With all the hype surrounding migrating to the cloud, there is unfortunately still a risk of outages that can stop an organization’s business dead in its tracks.”

Gladwin is an advocate of a mixed-economic approach. He recommends: “For mission critical applications, we see organizations turning to on-prem and hybrid cloud deployments that ensure they have greater line of sight and control over their deployments, uptime and, ultimately, business results.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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