Amazon Web Services (AWS) went down in the middle of last week. News of the outage were mentioned:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) causes chaos
- AWS us-east-1 outage brings down services around the world
- Dead Roombas, stranded packages,and delayed exams: How AWS outage wreaked havoc across the US
- AWS is the Internet’s biggest single point of failure
Piling the misery
The AWS outage headlines attract the naysayers, the fickle armchair pundits, and the opportunists. Here are a few news articles that bring these folks to chastise the cloud giant.
- After AWS outage, Larry Ellison says a major customer told him that Oracle’s cloud ‘never ever goes down’
- AWS outage: Your response to AWS going down shouldn’t be multicloud
- Multicloud failover is almost always a terrible idea
- Analysis: Outage shows how Amazon’s complex cloud makes backup plans difficult
Of course, I am one of these critics. I don’t deny that I am not. But I read this situation from a multicloud hyperbole of which I am not a fan. Too much multicloud whitewashing by vendors trying to pitch multicloud as a disaster recovery solution without understanding that this is easier said than done.
You should be in control
Convenience of IT services from the public clouds has made many organizations lazy. Passing the buck and using the cloud outages as the scapegoats are the easy ways out. I am not saying AWS is blameless, but organizations must control the data management piece of the whole equation. They should not take a lackadaisical mentality when it comes to data management. Thus a well defined framework of data availability, performance, protection, accessibility, recovery, management, security and compliance (A.P.P.A.R.M.S.C.) along with the disciplines of in control of the data flow, data lifecycle.
One of the best articles that support this narrative is by Lydia Leong, VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner®. Titled “Improving cloud resilience through stuff that works“, she listed 5 core things that impact cloud resilience.
- Physical design
- Logical (software) design
- Implementation quality
- Deployment processes
- Operational processes
And organizations relying their public cloud infrastructure services should heed her insights because the onus is with these organizations 100%, even when the cloud providers supply these core services.
All eggs in multiclouds basket?
According to Synergy Research Group, the big 3 (AWS, Azure and Google® Cloud) control more than 60% of the cloud infrastructure market. 63% to be exact. Add in Alibaba Cloud, Oracle Cloud, IBM Cloud, and a few burgeoning Chinese public cloud providers, that number is close to 80% or more. That is a lot of risks where no single IaaS cloud has any kind of cloud alliance and interoperability with one another. There are interoperability standards at data level or at some application-level overlays but we are not expecting AWS S3 to allow duplex traffic with Azure Blob Storage happily happening anytime soon.
Where does this leave the organizations and the businesses that heavily depend on the infrastructure services of these cloud giants? Aren’t we putting too much hope and trust to these deities?
“When US sneezes, the whole world catches a cold”
“When AWS crashes, your business services grinds to a NO“
And these outages will continue to happen, with various degrees of impact and frequency, for all public and private IaaS cloud providers.
Hybrid clouds are safer
I may be old school. Maybe this whole cloud adoption is moving too fast for me. However, with plenty of fallings, failings and stumbles, the scars and the bruises of my experiences have given me certain intuitive insights of how critical IT practices should be balanced to ensure confidence and trust for the businesses.
Larger organizations, especially those that run global businesses, should not be 100% dependent on the cloud. They must have an alternative, and exercise control of the destiny of the IT operations. I am still a big proponent of hybrid cloud, where Hybrid is the New Black. Until it is not.
But now is not the time to change the colour of your businesses which are so dependent on IT services. Now is the time to embrace hybrid clouds. Control your IT destiny, to control the identity of your business. You do not wish to see your identity of your business disappear, even for a few hours. The trust and confidence of your brand depend on your identity of your business being present.