The cloud outage

Today’s big story is the Amazon’s EC2 hosting going down, which shut down many well-loved websites. For me those websites included Reddit, NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, and Livefyre (which is why I’ve reverted to the WordPress comments for now), but other websites affected by the outage include Foursquare, Hootsuite, and Quora. From the time I got online (around 10am), important chunks of my corner of the Internet have been down. I haven’t been able to procrastinate with Reddit or update my page count at Script Frenzy. This has resulted in my actually writing my script. Progress! I’ve also had fewer tweets in my Twitter feed for most of the day thanks to the lack of Foursquare updates. Thankfully Reddit is in read-only mode, meaning that it should be back up in the near future. Amazon’s web hosting status site shows that they’re definitely working on the outage, and they’re definitely closer to a solution than they were earlier today. This is a very good thing.

What does this mean for cloud computing? Cloud computing is a great thing, even though it’s not without its critics. Note that today’s headline isn’t “Thousands of sites move away from the cloud”, though some of them will. That’s the nature of an outage like this one. Only time will tell what this outage will mean for the cloud.

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