8 Questions You Should Be Asking After the Amazon Outage

By now if you have not heard about Amazon’s S3 outage, you must be living under a rock.

According to Business Insider, more than 150,000 websites were affected and S&P companies lost an estimated $150M to $160M as a result of the outage.

But, interestingly enough, Amazon.com and its sister site, Zappos.com, were not affected AT ALL and the reason is simple: they didn’t put all of their eggs in one basket.

Amazon.com assessed their risk of hosting all of their information in one place vs. across multiple geographic locations. So when their US-EAST-1 region in North Virginia was not responsive for 5 hours, their other data centers took over the load, ensuring their Amazon website and users went unaffected.

Unfortunately, in the case of most small to medium sized businesses, budgets are not deep enough to have multiple data centers setup across the U.S. or even around the world. So those who put all of their trust into having their data in only one region at one center, could have cost themselves new business and a sense of distrust among their existing client base.

So, that leads to the question, how do you protect yourself and your business from another S3 or similar “outage”?

Here is a basic checklist of questions you should be asking yourself or your IT team:

Assess your risk

• Do you know which aspects of your business applications rely on cloud either completely or via integration?
• Would your workflow be interrupted and prevent your company from doing business as usual?

Consider your options

• Amazon/Zappos chose to protect themselves, should you?
• Is a colocation/cloud hybrid model worth considering – at least for the mission critical functions?
• Does your company have a recovery plan that covers cloud interruption?

Execute your plan, test it

• There is no test run like the real thing. How did your company manage during the outage?
• Could your plan use some tweaks?
• Amazon’s S3 has an overall uptime of 99.99%, but scenarios, like 5 hours on Tuesday during business hours across the United States can happen.  What if the outage lasted for days instead of hours?

Like the Zac Brown Band says, “There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind; this I’ve come to know” – So assess your risk, consider your options, execute your plans, and test it.

If you need help assessing your situation, we would be more than happy to help! We have experts on staff to determine what option may be right for you.

Visit us on our Contact Us page or call us at (866) 790-2656.

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