Another Hiccup in the AWS Data Centers

Most of you probably remember reading about The Great EC2 Outage of 2011, so when it happened again, many people begain to question if Amazon is the best way to host our services.

Let me first state that Newstex (the company where I manage the infrastructure hosted entirely within AWS), was almost completely unaffected by this outage. Yes, we had all of our servers in US-East become disconnected from the rest of the internet, but no, this did not negatively impact our core business. Why? because we use Multi-Region Deployment.

Multi-Region Deployment is mostly useful when you're serving up services to people in multiple locations. It helps to create a more direct line to your customers by centering your servers closer to them. For Newstex's Core business, we place servers in both US-East and US-West. This means that while servers in US-East were down completely, the servers in US-West continued to function at full capacity, allowing us to pull in and deliver our content without any interruptions.

Now to say that we were completely unaffected would be a lie. We did temporarily lose our management console during the brief 40 minute outage, but this was a risk that we agreed wasn't worth spending an extra $200/month to cover. Statistically speaking, since AWS has only been down a total of about 2 hours this year, that would mean that it would have cost us roughly $1,600 for an additional 2 hours of uptime. That's just not economical for something that's only used to modify our configurations. What's important is that our core business was secured and protected against a region-wide outage such as this.

For more information on how to build your own Multi-Region Deployment, see my book:
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