Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced an unprecedented four-day outage that left customers frustrated and the company scrambling to find answers. Now, it appears that the problem has been resolved, but a number of questions remain about what the future holds for AWS and cloud computing in general. While no hard and fast answers can be had, there are a number of likely outcomes as a result of this outage.
First, expect to see further work put into Amazon’s elastic block storage. The outage appeared to affect all availability zones on the network, something that Amazon is going to have to address in order to regain customer confidence. Second, it is possible that Amazon may create service level agreements (SLAs) for their AWS. Currently, no SLAs for the service exist, meaning that many customers may not get service credits for the outage. As well, Amazon may have to consider offering better transparency into both its practices and failsafes in order to drum up confidence in those who are still customers or who left after the crash.
Consumers may also change what they’re doing as a consequence of the outage, starting by putting greater thought into the services they use. Many consumers were burned by the lack of SLAs, and will either consider other options or a higher tier of Amazon service. As well, this outage may increase confidence on private clouds, which lack the same openness as AWS. While the same kind of crash could happen to a private cloud, many consumers may feel more comfortable in a less “public” environment.
Overall, AWS and Amazon will likely lose very little business, but hopefully have the good sense to improve both transparency and security in the long term.