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Amazon outage sparks frustration, doubts about cloud

Patrick Thibodeau | April 22, 2011
On-going problems could scare businesses away from cloud adoption.

Haugan's view, which stems not just from Amazon's outage alone, is that "cloud services need some more maturing and a much more hardened infrastructure and security model prior to our adoption."

One company that has been using some of Amazon's services is Consona Corp., a CRM and ERP provider. Kristen Hayes, director of global information systems for Consona said she still doesn't know what's behind the outage. "The most frustrating thing about it is either they (Amazon) are still in the dark about what's going on, or they are just keeping us in the dark about what's going on, but it's costing us money," said Hayes.

She said communications from Amazon about the outage have not been good.

Even before the outage, Consona was moving more of its services away from Amazon to either Bluelock, a cloud infrastructure as a service provider, or to its own internal data center. One reason for that is Bluelock's support of VMware. (Consona has VMware expertise in-house; Amazon doesn't use VMware.)

Using VMware's vCloud Connector, for instance, Hayes said she can manage her Bluelock environments via her IT shop. "It's just as though they are sitting in my data center," she said.

Bluelock also has flat predictable, pricing -- unlike the variable pricing Amazon charges, said Hayes, who noted that Consona will continue to have some customer services on Amazon run by a business group.

Dan Schoenbaum, chief business development officer and cloud evangelist for Tripwire, an IT security and compliance services firm, said the outage "may seriously impact the adoption rate of cloud among business users."

There remains a lot of interest in cloud services, particularly from venture capital backers that require start-ups to use them instead of investing in hardware. But to combat broader uncertainties, Schoenbaum expects cloud providers will have to offer up greater assurances about their services and raise the bar on what they provide.

WorkXpress's LaPlante said the outage will likely force Amazon to build out its infrastructure to prevent similar outages in the future. "The sad irony is that Amazon will emerge from this much better," he said.


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