The blog is moving to our new website. Read all the latest news at Sonian Blog.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Today's Brief AWS Outage and How Sonian is Affected

Today's brief Amazon Web Services outage has caused quite a stir in the tech community. Why? Because everyone is paying close attention to how quickly problems are solved and what the effect "unplanned" downtime has on SaaS adoption rates.

For Sonian specifically, our customers were not affected by the outage. But this fact is more luck than anything. Our "portion" of the cloud remained running while other parts did not. If Sonian was interrupted by the outage, here is what would have happened:

  • Data collection would be put on pause - which means we would not accept any new items. The data will queue up on the customer side and then collection automatically resumes when the all systems are go, and the light above changes to "green."
  • Searching could be affected. No data is ever lost, but access to the data could be interrupted for a brief period of time.
  • Exports will be put on pause. Access to file downloads will be paused until we are running again.
  • Sonian has a self-healing mode (external to the cloud) to monitor it's own health in the cloud. This feature will kick into action and restart processes automatically.
Failures like this can happen in every system, and anyone that promises otherwise is foolish or lying (or both). Amazon does not promise that their systems won't fail, but I can assure you that when something does go wrong, I trust that when a team of Amazon engineers springs into action the issues will be resolved quickly..... probably more quickly than if your own server crashed in the middle of the night or if you were hosted at another vendors co-location facility.

No comments: