What Really Happened at Amazon Web Services?

The Amazon AWS outage on February 28th was more than a simple disruption, and it affected millions of professionals – including myself. Like most mornings, I tried to schedule follow-up meetings with potential customers using Citrix GoToMeeting. But to my increasing frustration, I kept getting error messages. Given how integral services like GoToMeeting are to businesses – especially young and small ones – this caused more than simple frustration. I was worried about our clients, as well as Burstorm’s functionality that day.

After spending almost an hour checking my login credentials, account status, and numerous password possibilities, just to make sure it wasn’t one of those days (we all have them), I finally gave up. By doing so, I jeopardized the new business that the call was set to confirm. Because Burstorm is business-to-business, and the products we sell are not impulse buys, this was not a real danger for us. However, I know it was for many of you reading this article.

A short time later one of my colleagues informed me that AWS was having a serious outage, causing not only errors with Citrix but also causing interruptions of services across the web, disrupting many businesses throughout the day.

So what can we, as an industry, learn from the AWS outage? Well designed failover strategies can save you and your business. Consider it a plan B and C in a situation where plan A is guaranteed to fail at some point.

The less obvious question is: Are all failover solutions created equal? What’s the best strategy? And who has the answers?

This is where the Burstorm Platform comes in. Because our SaaS application runs on a multi-cloud running platform, it did not grind to a halt. Our goal is to make it easy for you to design a similar infrastructure for your company, and those companies that you partner with and support.

We formed Burstorm by getting together a bunch of realists (and pessimists) with a mission to make it easier for you to keep your company’s online services safe. As we watch an increasing percentage of business functions be performed through the internet, we’re happy we dedicated our careers to making it all work a bit more reliably. At Burstorm, we like to say that behind every great business is a reliable and secure cloud – and, as cheesy as that is, it becomes more true every day.

Infrastructure architects use our platform to design failover locations and even solutions that failover to other service providers. February 28th was a first-hand reminder that a hallmark of good infrastructure design is not keeping all your eggs in one basket or servers in one location. This approach ensures availability and quick recovery.

Because your career – and your company – rely on reliability, it’s critical that you never forget that data security and availability is no exception to Murphy’s Law. It’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ something will go wrong. Realize this, internalize this, and move forward in your planning and purchasing with the intent of being able to easily recover from one service stumbling, and preventing errors from robbing your company of its productivity.

Our team built the Burstorm Platform alongside our customers in the trenches of AWS. No other cloud design tool contains the amount of relevant provider, product, price and performance data to power your designs to fortify and optimize your infrastructure. Come see for yourself.


by Lori Bedford
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