Cloudfail: Lessons Learned from AWS Outage

The Amazon AWS outage has cast questions as to whether AWS (and the cloud in general) is ready for hosting revenue-critical production applications. The outage lasted for more than a day for many popular sites like Reddit and Zuora, and it raised many doubts about cloud computing.

But before we write off the cloud, let’s review a few lessons we can learn from this outage.

Some survived, many did not
The number one lesson to learn is that not EVERY application running in AWS died. Netflix, one of the biggest web apps running in AWS, survived the outage without any issues while sites like Reddit and Zuora crashed for more than a day. So why is it that some survived and many did not? It’s simply because many of these companies forgot that cloud is not a magical solution to everything, and you still have to remember to implement the architectural techniques that have been perfected for years in the physical data center world as you move in the cloud world.