Amazon recently suffered some problems with some of its servers, which left some sites with large hiccups in their services. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service had some issues, primarily in Virginia. Among the sites affected were Foursquare, Quora, Reddit, and Hootsuite.
Amazon has said that .07% of the data not able to be fully recovered, according to several reports. "We have completed our remaining recovery efforts and though we've recovered nearly all of the stuck volumes, we've determined that a small number of volumes (0.07% of the volumes in our US-East Region) will not be fully recoverable," Amazon is quoted as saying.
The company has been letting the companies affected know. It's unclear what all companies are actually affected.
The whole incident hasn't been good for the perception of cloud computing in general. After all, if something like this could happen, what's to stop all kinds of similar incidents from happening in the past. Reliance on others for important data is a liability.
Look at Twitter's inability to stay operational for all users at all times. What if Twitter was hosting a great deal of your company's information. Business have come to rely on Twitter for various purposes, yet the site is often plagued with downtime. It's just another example of reliance on third-parties for business-critical functions.
The whole Playstation Network debacle hasn't done anything to help the perception of cloud computing either.
Amazon recently launched its cloud storage service for consumers. Amazon will have a lot more information on its servers than just businesses, as people store their music collections and other files.
As far as business, it might be wise to have a backup plan in case you can't rely 100% on a third party. InformationWeek has an interesting piece about the need for failover planning.
Bizo, a company that depended on Amazon, "resorted to a practice that many observers were left wondering why Amazon itself hadn't adopted," writes InformationWeek's Charles Babcock. "- the ability of a system in one data center to be shifted to another in a separate, geographic location.
Everything on Amazon's status dashboard is currently listed as "operating normally".