About the Post

Author Information

Georg Singer is a researcher in the area of cloud computing at the University of Tartu in Estonia. His research focuses on ROI, economic and business aspects of cloud computing.

Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service down the fourth day

I am a happy and loyal user of Dropbox.com. Well, I was at least. When hovering over the Dropbox icon, I only see “Dropbox 0.7.110 Connecting…..” lately. Weird, I thought. Well, no problem, fire up Firefox and check out Dropbox’s web page to see what is going on. Good try, but also a complete waste effort. Web page does not work either.

Finally I stumble upon this article by Dean Takahashi with the title, “Amazon’s outage in third day: debate over cloud computing’s future begins”. Dropbox’s outage is part of a huge outage of Amazon’s EC2 cloud service due to problems in one  of Amazon’s data centers in Northern Virginia/US.  Thousands of smaller businesses and start-ups see their services off-line since days. Even worse, their customers, as in my case, also cannot use the services and most often might not even know what is going on and blame the small companies.

This raises a serious question, regarding trust. Can small companies and consequently also customers of small companies trust in such a service that is down for days? It this heavily promoted new computing paradigm called cloud computing grown up enough? Ok, big companies like Netflix are not impacted by the outage, as they use Amazon’s redundant cloud backup infrastructure – and pay for it. A luxury that smaller companies simply cannot afford. Which raised the next question. If companies have to purchase all sorts of extra backup infrastructure, is the always promoted price advantage of cloud computing still there?

Amazon’s hasn’t revealed very much about what has gone wrong. But the situation remains very weird the cloud computing’s image certainly has got some cracks over the last days.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Research group digest – ulno.net - April 26, 2011

    [...] Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing service down the fourth day I am a happy and loyal user of Dropbox.com. Well, I was at least. When hovering over the Dropbox icon, I only see “Dropbox 0.7.110 Connecting…..” lately. Weird, I thought. Well, no problem, fire up Firefox and check out Dropbox’s web page to see what is going on. Good try, but also a complete waste [...] [...]

Leave a Reply