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Web hosts wonder if a common thread links recent super-site outages

Google went down on Saturday, dropping over a third of the world’s web traffic in the process. Amazon has followed suit just a few days later, with its 40 minutes of inactivity purportedly costing the company as much as $5 million. When sites get this massive, are teething problems expected now and again? Or are we looking at a potentially worsening problem?

This is the question being asked today by hosting companies 34SP’s Daniel Foster, who suggested that there might be something linking Google and Amazon – and Microsoft, with its recent problems.

“Misery loves company,” he said. “Amazon’s recent fall from grace being the latest in a litany of high-profile site crashes to have plagued the web in recent weeks and we’ve seen that even the most colossal of tech giants can suffer, following outages from both Google and Microsoft Outlook.

“This is undoubtedly catastrophic for sales. In online retail terms, 45 minutes is a long time to be unavailable to customers, particularly for the biggest retailer in the world. Luckily for Amazon, their cloud service – AWS – wasn’t affected, however outages of the world’s biggest computing cloud have affected some big names that rely on it in the past.”

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He has a point too. If Amazon’s cloud service has gone down, like Google’s outage, it would have brought big swathes of the web crashing to its knees. On top of that, distributed computing services like universities and medical research facilities would have been taken off the grid until it was fixed. Netflix would drop too.

“You can bet Amazon’s engineers were frantically working to restore service as quickly as possible,” Foster continued. “But it’s another reminder that even with the best of intentions, a massive budget and some of the most highly skilled technicians in the business, websites aren’t 100% reliable.”

However, he did say that Amazon did something right: it talked to its customers, placing a notice on the site about the outage. “Communication really is key here; people are much more forgiving if they’re kept in the loop, but the reality is that we will never find out what happened at Amazon, or indeed any of the other high profile sites to suffer recent outages. Internally you can be certain there’ll be an in depth analysis of what went wrong at each of these companies, but ultimately it’s just that: an internal issue.”

KitGuru Says: The question now remains, does some common problem link these super sites, or is it just a coincidence that they’ve all suffered problems within a short time-frame? Perhaps hackers are involved? What are your thoughts?

Image Source: Siliconangle

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