my one (almost) “told ya so” amazon rant

Way too many people have run around all crazy about the recent Amazon cloud outage that left various companies and persons high and dry for a period of time. I won’t belabor the topic further but to point out two links.

First, this wonderful forum thread that claims patient lives are at risk with the outage. Talk about fail; sort of a laughing while facepalming issue. Be thankful your business (probably) doesn’t actually have lives depending on it…

At the end of that thread is a link to a blog post that essentially reasons that all of this is Amazon’s fault.

I wouldn’t presume to say Amazon, in this case, may have overpromised or even misled people; and they may have just flat out fucked up.

But, so what? Does that mean your customers nod and say, “That’s ok?” Does that mean you get your revenues back that you lost? Maybe a refund? Does that mean your boss isn’t going to throw your ass under the bus when shit hits the fan? When he asks the status, you just point over to the Amazon support number and say, “They’re working on it?”

If I give you a promise and I fail to deliver, what the fuck are you going to do? Sure, we may be talking contracts and actual damages and, worst case, tort law, but do you really think that’s going to help? What if the court says, “Hey, why didn’t you have a backup plan?” Or what if I skip town? What if the event is so catastrophic that your provider collapses and goes bankrupt? You really *can’t* rely on something like that to help you out. While you shake it through the courts, your business might be done; or your job.

I dunno. Maybe it’s the operations guy in me who knows that outages occur and they occur for an infinite number of reasons. And the less money you spend the more you get.

Lastly, if Amazon fucked up and didn’t do something right, do you really think some other provider (not named Akamai, let’s say) will be less error-prone? Really? At least Amazon now probably has one less issue to ever deal with, right? They *did* just gain valuable experience.

As the blog post says, choose your provider carefully. Oh, and this issue somehow makes it easier to choose a provider? Or give any further insight that cannot be gotten by common sense? Or insight that goes beyond the magic curtain the provider puts up in exchange for managing your infrastructure for you? No. Saying that is like having a Toyota recall and then glibly telling your Toyota-driving friend he should have picked his car better. The proper feeling in response to that is, “Ass.”