Friday, April 22, 2011

Amazon - The Big Fail

By now, if you keep up with all things geekish, you may have heard about Amazon's big outage yesterday. No - this wasn't their online store: this was their other business --  selling their excess capacity as "cloud computing" services.

So-called "cloud computing" (also known as utility computing) is all the rage today, and like a lot of things, it's not an entirely new thing. It works by setting up virtual machines in Amazon's massive datacenter. Usually everything works just dandy. But not yesterday.

I got a call from one of my internal customers in the UK at 3:00 AM (my employer, the Sisyphean Corp is a global operation) who, in a panicky voice, informed me his Amazon-hosted site was gone. I spent the next 15 hours working to recover it.

Amazon has not yet offered a detailed explanation of exactly what happened. My sources, however, have found the reason for all the trouble:

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