Analysis: Outage shows how Amazon's complex cloud makes backup plans difficult

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Attendees astatine Amazon.com Inc yearly unreality computing league locomotion past the Amazon Web Services logo successful Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Salvador Rodriguez/File Photo/File Photo

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Dec 9 (Reuters) - Major companies utilizing Amazon.com's information services got a achy acquisition this week astir however the complexity and marketplace dominance of the company's unreality portion marque it hard to backmost up their information with different providers, analysts and experts told Reuters.

Amazon said that an "an impairment of respective web devices" successful its Amazon Web Services (AWS) Virginia information halfway portion caused the prolonged outage connected Tuesday. The outage temporarily interrupted streaming platforms Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Disney+ (DIS.N), trading app Robinhood Markets Inc (HOOD.O) and adjacent Amazon's ain e-commerce site, which makes dense usage of AWS.

An Amazon spokesperson told Reuters connected Wednesday that the issues had been resolved.

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The immense way of harm from a web occupation astatine a azygous portion that AWS calls "US-EAST-1" underscored however hard it is for companies to dispersed their unreality computing around.

With 24.1% of the wide market, according to probe steadfast IDC, Amazon is the world's biggest unreality computing firm. Rivals similar Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google Inc and Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) are trying to lure AWS customers to usage parts of their clouds, often arsenic a backup.

But crafting a analyzable online work that tin beryllium easy shifted from 1 supplier to different successful lawsuit of exigency is acold from simple, said Naveen Chhabra, a elder expert with probe steadfast Forrester. Rather than being a singular "cloud," AWS is really composed of hundreds of antithetic services, from basal gathering bocks similar computing powerfulness and retention to precocious services similar high-speed databasees and artificial quality training.

Any fixed website, Chhabra said, mightiness usage respective twelve of those idiosyncratic services, each of which indispensable enactment for the tract to function. It is hard to marque a backup connected different unreality supplier due to the fact that immoderate services are proprietary to AWS and immoderate enactment precise otherwise astatine different provider.

"It's similar saying, 'Can I enactment an SUV assemblage connected a sedan chassis?' Maybe, if everything is each the aforesaid and lines up. But determination is nary guarantee," Chhabra said.

Another contented that makes it hard for businesses to diversify is that AWS makes it comparatively inexpensive to nonstop information into its cloud, but past charges higher prices for "egress fees" to get information retired of its unreality to instrumentality to a rival.

"That amplifies issues similar this (outage) erstwhile they happen," said Matthew Prince, main enforcement of net information steadfast Cloudflare Inc (NET.N) "A much resilient unreality is 1 wherever egress fees are eliminated and customers tin beryllium multi-cloud. I deliberation that would really summation the religion customers person successful the cloud."

DEPENDENCIES IN ONE REGION

AWS itself has captious "dependencies" wrong its ain services wherever they are linked unneurotic successful ways that tin origin 1 to neglect erstwhile different fails, said Angelique Medina, caput of merchandise marketplace astatine Cisco Systems Inc's (CSCO.O) ThousandEyes. That is due to the fact that AWS's analyzable services are often built connected apical of its ain much basal services. One occupation that crops up with a basal relation similar networking tin cascade done services that beryllium connected it.

Early connected successful the incidental connected Tuesday, AWS said the outage was "affecting immoderate of our monitoring and incidental effect tooling, which is delaying our quality to supply updates."

Medina said AWS besides seems to beryllium person captious services clustered successful its US-EAST-1 region, wherever different outage past twelvemonth besides had a wide felt impact.

"That's wherever a batch of their captious dependencies person been located historically," Medina said. "Over time, they've diversified a bit."

Chhabra, the Forrester analyst, said Amazon has done a batch of "heavy lifting" to marque its ain services resilient. But what Amazon does not bash for its customers is physique applications successful a mode that tin withstand an outage by tapping aggregate locations oregon providers.

Doing truthful tin often involves other enactment that mightiness not ever beryllium worthy it erstwhile unreality outages stay comparatively rare.

"It's this tradeoff you ever person betwixt thing that is decentralized, thing that's unafraid and thing that's useable," said Charly Fei, merchandise pb for Inter Blockchain Communication pb astatine The Interchain Foundation, which is focused connected technologies for decentralizing computing. "It's not thing wherever you'll ever get a cleanable solution that gets each three."

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Reporting by Stephen Nellis successful San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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