No reason to fret over Amazon outage: Ottawa cloud hosting provider

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After Tuesday’s Amazon Web Services outage brought much of the internet to a standstill, an Ottawa cloud services provider says there’s still no reason for businesses to turn their backs on the cloud.

Amazon announced today that the cause of the downtime was an employee trying to patch a bug in its web services who accidentally switched off more servers than intended.

Speculators began wondering after the four-hour downtime about possible dangers arising from Amazon’s dominant share of the cloud-hosting market (Between 30 and 40 per cent of the market by revenue, depending on recent estimates). USA Today asked its readers, does Amazon own the Internet?

Paul Butcher, partner with Ottawa cloud services company HostedBizz, says that Amazon’s enormous presence in the market can lead to widespread issues when something goes wrong as it did on Tuesday.

“They are a dominant player in the market… Because of the scale they have, the complexity of their infrastructure is an order of magnitude more complex than HostedBizz and our infrastructure,” he says. “There’s more to go wrong, and when something does go wrong, it’s going to affect more clients.”

But with Amazon’s scale comes a rapid response team. When something goes wrong in Amazon’s system, the company is able to solve issues with little delay.

Butcher says the built-in redundancies of many cloud hosting services make downtime like this very rare. Compared to on-premise servers, when a server goes down in the cloud, another is usually there to kick up without skipping a beat.

“Most customers that don’t use the cloud, if they had a catastrophic failure within their own IT server environment, it would take them days to recover,” he says. “You’re getting massively robust and massively redundant infrastructure.”

In other words, if worrying about someone spilling coffee on a server in Seattle is keeping you from making the leap to the cloud, Butcher thinks you may be overreacting.

“I really don’t think businesses should be concerned.”