John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Amazon's Partly Cloudy Computing

amazonoutage.jpg

The S3 service is great but this just proves you can’t rely on it, this is a major issue especially since it’s been down for so long. Way to go Amazon.”

–a post on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service forum

Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) suffered a “massive” outage this morning, impacting a number of businesses that rely on the cloud-based storage service. Twitter, Tumblr and AdaptiveBlue were among the more widely known services to be affected, although there were many others. “Amazing how many of the services I use are reliant on S3,” venture capitalist Fred Wilson Twittered this morning. “Stuff is broken everywhere this morning.”

Amazon (AMZN) was able to resolve the issue in a matter of hours, but its failure to inform its customers of the outage and its efforts to correct it drew some harsh criticism from users. “Amazon’s response was substandard in this case,” said one. “I should, minimally, see a message on the front page at aws.amazon.com when there’s a complete outage. Instead, I had to come into the forums to make sure it’s not just my stuff. Like others here, I have a massive number of files (probably about 125,000 audio files, around 1TB of storage) that are for various music libraries. So I have customers with sites that are only partially functional, and nothing to tell them. That’s unacceptable. And I know you can do better. I’m not looking for details of the outage, just an acknowledgment (again, front page of aws) and ETA.”

Said another: “It’s AmazING the fact of having no info on what’s happening. Absolutely unacceptable. Come on, people on this forum are all tech guys, so we understand that bad things happen from time to time. However, you MUST be transparent with your customers and give them details on what’s going on (yes, we want to know exactly what’s happening and not a standard response like ‘The issue is resolved’). In fact, it is not. So please, scale these complaints to the right person and post the technical explanation of the issue as soon as possible.”


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work