Home Cloud Computing What you should do before your cloud goes down

What you should do before your cloud goes down


Boy, was that fun or what? When Amazon Web Services’ (AWS’) US-EAST-1 Region started having fits with its application programming interfaces (APIs) on Dec. 7, we found out just how much we all depend on AWS. (Even people who’d never heard of it knew something was wrong when their Disney+ and Netflix shows didn’t appear on TV, the new Roomba robot vacuum cleaner stopped cleaning, and those “smart” lights didn’t work—because they all rely on AWS.)

While that was annoying, it was much worse for the many companies who depend on AWS for their IT operations. Or for those who discovered that while they’d never given AWS one thin dime, many of the services they did pay for—Asana, Smartsheet, Trello, and Slack, to name a few—were built atop AWS.


On Friday, Amazon said in a blog post on it site that “unexpected behavior” triggered the hours-long outage.

“An automated activity to scale capacity of one of the AWS services hosted in the main AWS network triggered an unexpected behavior from a large number of clients inside the internal network,” the company wrote in the post. As a result, devices connected to AWS’ network became overloaded.

So, what can you do? Well, for one thing, stop relying on so many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Your dishwasher, holiday lights, refrigerator, and toothbrush really don’t need to depend on the cloud. More seriously, though, you can drop any thought of having your IT department go back to running all your own servers. Look at where your business was back when that made sense and where it is now.

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