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Amazon OZ Cloud Service Under Question After Massive Outages In US

By David Richards | Sunday | 01/07/2012

Amazon, who is currently setting up a server farm in Australia to deliver cloud based services, is facing an investigation after severe storms in the USA knocked out one of their main data centres, bringing down services such as Netflix and Instagram.

Both Optus and Telstra should take note of what happened to Amazon, claim Analysts, who are now questioning the maturity of cloud based services.

Hurricane-like storms knocked out the Amazon data centre for up to six-hours, temporarily cutting off a number of popular internet services. The outage was the second for this particular Amazon data centre in the past month.

Experts are now saying that it's bad news for cloud computing platforms that are sold as a more reliable alternative to traditional data centres. In recent months Google has launched their Drive service, while both Telstra and Optus are expanding their cloud based server offerings.

Engadget said that in theory, big outages like this aren't supposed to happen. Amazon is supposed to keep the data centres up and running — something it's has become very good at — and customers like Netflix, freed from that drudgery, are supposed to be free to cook up compelling new web application like video streaming.

In reality, though, Amazon data centres have outages all the time. In fact, Amazon tells its customers to plan for this to happen, and to be ready to roll over to a new data centre whenever there's an outage.

Several hours after the storm Amazon was still reporting performance issues for what it calls its elastic cloud compute, relational database and elastic beanstalk services.

Amazon said the storm had interrupted both its primary power service and backup generator power.

"We have restored service to most of our impacted customers and continue to work to restore service for our remaining impacted customers," a company spokeswoman said. "We will share more details on this event in the coming days."

Netflix, which transitioned to Amazon's cloud service from its own data centres a few years ago, has had outage issues with the service in the past.

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