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How you can prepare for the next AWS outage (because it’s going to happen again)

Emily Trofholz

Emily Trofholz

December 8, 2021

On Tuesday, December 7th I tried ordering groceries on a local grocery store app and noticed my account was acting funky. I wasn’t able to add items to my cart or view grocery lists. I tried the online browser and wasn’t even able to sign into my account.

Then, after checking the internet (our company internal Chat, Twitter, etc.) for about five seconds, I realized that there was an AWS outage.

Everyone pays (even Amazon) for the AWS outage

Because of this, the digital world came to a stop; at least the companies running on AWS did. Global organizations, not just my local grocery store, were impacted by the outage that lasted more than five hours.

The status and outage report details can be found here on Amazon’s website. Even with detailed explanations and analysis of what happened, you can’t replace the revenue lost every minute servers were down. A simple Google search of “Amazon outage cost” shows that Amazon itself tends to lose millions of dollars during outages.

To add additional context, while cloud outages are becoming recurring events, do not dismiss cloud technology. Cloud servers themselves are not the problem. In fact, cloud-based solutions are much more secure and scalable than on-premise servers. However, it’s best to analyze what’s best for your business, as there are many options (cloud, on-prem, hybrid, etc.) 

If cost is an issue, we can help you understand your cloud spend to see which option makes the most sense for your budget.

Cloud outages, like the AWS outage, aren’t going away

To continue, what can we do to prevent cloud outages? The short answer is nothing. 

Technology is going to fail, outages will continue to occur, and accidents happen. In fact, another large-scale AWS outage happened about the same time last year. So, unfortunately, they’re something we’ll have to get used to. 

If it helps, think of a cloud outage like a power outage. It happens, and if you’re prepared with candles, a flashlight, extra food, and a warm blanket, you’re usually fine, especially if it doesn’t last long. The trick is being prepared.

How to prepare for the next cloud provider outage

To start, network resiliency will help prevent downtime during network outages. However, the ability to recover quickly is only as good as the systems and preparedness you have in place. 

Can you access backup applications, should your cloud provider go down? Do you have disaster recovery in place? Do you have easy and secure access to your network systems or do you need someone to be physically present to access your server?

Creating network resiliency is a multi-phased approach with no one-size-fits-all. And that’s a good thing. Your business is unique; your network security system should be, too.

Multi-cloud or hybrid cloud approaches to your network keep you prepared for outages

Explore the idea of a multi-cloud (using more than one cloud provider) or hybrid cloud (using on-premise and cloud-based solutions) to organize your network infrastructure. Each option includes its own pros and cons, and ensures you don’t have all of your network connectivity in one place. If an outage occurs, you have another option. 

We have a quick overview exploring hybrid connectivity and network optimization here. Hint: start around 3:30 to dive into why setting up your network infrastructure correctly is so important.

Cloud outages happen – Wursta is here to help

In this Forbes article, the author faces the reality that cloud providers “are racing one another to create more offerings, which in turn is making the management of the infrastructure to support them more complex.” It’s true – working in the cloud can be complicated. 

We’re here to help. We’ve untangled and uncomplicated customers’ infrastructure and network systems, either by optimizing their systems, training employees, creating cohesive operations, or a combination. Your cloud operations should work for you, simply and securely. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to use a multi-cloud approach, what disaster recovery options are best for your organization, or how to streamline your cloud operations systems, let’s connect

Emily Trofholz

Emily Trofholz

December 8, 2021

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