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Observations regarding the Amazon S3 Outage

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Downtime is a mystery until you are back up & running.

While we don’t anticipate many Microsoft Dynamics ERP users were running on the Amazon S3 (which stands for Simple Storage Service – a part of Amazon Web Services) a huge number of websites store content and run services on S3. Among the sites and services that appeared to be affected were Slack, Quora, Lonely Planet, Snapchat's Bitmoji, Hulu, Hubspot and even the US Securities and Exchange Commission website. The outage lasted 4 hours February 28th and is apt to give pause to companies who are considering running their ERP solutions in a public cloud. Learn about Microsoft Dynamics ERP hosting services.

If you are in the process of deciding between public vs private cloud, remember the following if you are concerned about the AWS outage:

Limited information –All you get is a dashboard with a red light, and in this particular case Amazon Web Services tweeted at one point that the "dashboard" that allows users to see the status of its own services was not able to update itself because of the S3 technical problem.

Limited communication –We view this differently than information on a dashboard. Communication is typically when you are able to let your customer base know what the problem is, time to resolve and any issues they will encounter post resolution and who to contact. Information like this is usually never readily available in a public cloud – hence downtime is always a mystery until you are back up.

Longer downtime—Massive reboot effort takes longer than more agile, boutique cloud services: According to news reports a full restart was required which took longer than expected due to the number of servers involved. This is where we believe bigger is NOT always better.

Observations regarding the Amazon S3 Outage - We had a hard time getting this site to load , due – we expect - to the volume of people requesting data. Amazon does offer an SLA for the S3 service, guaranteeing 99.9% uptime or part of your money back. With .1% of a month being around 45 minutes, that means they owe people money. What's an SLA for Cloud and what should it include?

However, Amazon's requirements for claiming a refund are onerous. With requirements to submit request logs documenting errors and corroborating your claimed outage, don’t expect anyone except large users to bother. We suspect Amazon will indicated that this wasn't technically an "outage," since Amazon's S3 was not entirely out of commission and some services were only partially affected. Not much help if you are down.

Of course, when an event like this happens, everyone starts rethinking their cloud strategy including considerations such as:

  • Public vs. private
  • Mission critical applications vs. file storage
  • Acceptable downtime vs. redundancy

See Dynamics Hosting Backup & Recovery

If you are in the process of choosing a cloud solution for your Dynamic ERP application let’s begin a discussion on how RoseASP’s private cloud overcomes the public cloud mystery.

At Rose ASP we:

  • Inform
  • Communicate
  • Refund when it’s our fault – no paperwork required.

See RoseASP Private Hosting Prices

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