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Amazon Web Services Goes Down, Takes Many Startup Sites With It

Posted by Yaser on February 15, 2008

Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage this morning, affecting the thousands of Websites that rely on its storage (S3) and cloud computing (EC2) services. Startups including Twitter, SmugMug, 37Signals, and AdaptiveBlue, for instance, use Amazon’s S3 storage service to store all the data for their Websites. Reports started coming in across the Web, email, and Twitter about the outage (Twitter only uses S3 for file hosting, not its main messaging application). The major difficulties seem to have been fixed, but some issues persist. The outage started at around 6:30 AM PT, possibly sooner.This could just be growing pains for Amazon Web Services, as more startups and other companies come to rely on it for their Web-scale computing infrastructure. But even if the outage only lasted a couple hours, it is unacceptable. Nobody is going to trust their business to cloud computing unless it is more reliable than the data-center computing that is the current norm. So many Websites now rely on Amazon’s S3 storage service and, increasingly, on its EC2 compute cloud as well, that an outage takes down a lot of sites, or at least takes down some of their functionality. Cloud computing needs to be 99.999 percent reliable if Amazon and others want it to become more widely adopted.

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