Major companies using Amazon.com’s data services got a lesson, about how the complexity and market dominance of the company’s cloud unit make it difficult to back up their data with other providers. Amazon said that an impairment of several network devices in its Amazon Web Services (AWS) Virginia data center region caused the prolonged outage. This outage temporarily interrupted streaming platforms Netflix Inc and Disney+, trading app Robinhood Markets Inc and even Amazon’s own e-commerce site, which makes heavy use of AWS.
This issue had been resolved. The huge trail of damage from a network problem at a single region that AWS calls “US-EAST-1” underscored its difficulty for companies to spread their cloud computing around. According to research firm IDC, Amazon is the world’s biggest cloud computing firm. Rivals like Microsoft Corp, Alphabet’s Google Inc and Oracle Corp are trying to lure AWS customers to use parts of their clouds, often as a backup.
AWS is actually composed of hundreds of different services, from basic building blocks like computing power and storage to advanced services like high-speed databases and artificial intelligence training. Chhabra said, any website might use several dozens of those individual services. It is difficult to make a backup on another cloud provider. As some services are proprietary to AWS. Another issue is that AWS makes it relatively cheap to send data into its cloud, but then charges higher prices for “egress fees” to get data out of its cloud to take to a rival.
Matthew Prince, chief executive of internet security firm Cloudflare Inc said that this amplifies issues like outage when they happen. And that more resilient cloud is one where egress fees are eliminated and customers can be multi-cloud. He thinks that would actually increase the faith customers have in the cloud.
AWS said that the outage was affecting some of their monitoring and incident response tooling, which is delaying their ability to provide updates. Medina said that AWS also seems to be have critical services clustered in its US-EAST-1 region. Also, added that, it is there, where a lot of their critical dependencies have been located historically. Chhabra, the Forrester analyst, said Amazon has done a lot of “heavy lifting” to make its own services resilient. But what Amazon does not do for its customers is build applications in a way that can withstand an outage by tapping multiple locations or providers.
Charly Fei, product lead for Inter Blockchain Communication lead at The Interchain Foundation stated that it is this trade-off they always have between something that is decentralized, something that’s secure and something that’s useable. It is not something where they will ever get a perfect solution that gets all three.