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Apr 25 2011   8:28PM GMT

Amazon cloud stumbles – Netflix plays on

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Cloud computing caught some flak last week as Amazon’s Elastic Cloud snapped. Customer Netflix seemed to have dodged the blackout. Why not? Its boss Reed Hastings has true technology roots.

Cloud computing has increasingly been about Web applications, but that move may be slowed more than a bit as enterprises digest the damage of Amazon’s recent multi-day cloud snafu. At this writing the cause and effects are not clear.

An early Amazon alert said a networking event triggered a large amount of re-mirroring of Elastic Block Storage volumes at a data center. This mirroring created a shortage of capacity in a local availability zone that impacted Amazon’s ability to recover EBS volumes. Can you say ”cascade?”

Web application upstarts such as Foursquare, Quora and Big Door were hit hard. But cloud poster child Netflix sailed on. In a New York Times article, Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said the online movie service had dodged the Amazon black out because it fully used Amazon cloud redundancy features.

So the bullet seems to have been dodgeable. Of course, Netflix is rich enough to afford the premium redundancy level. Moreover, it has a deep strain of technology in its DNA. The history police tell us New Age media mogul and Netflix head Reed Hastings built debuggers for pinpointing memory access errors in his early days at Adaptive Technology and Pure Software. One might guess this would lead him to make sure the right questions are asked when Netflix contracts for a cloud.

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  • Jack Vaughan
    Of course, one has to wonder if Amazon's new cloud music offering is not at play here. Did a ga-zillion people decide to listen to Ina-Godda-Davida all at once? - The Ig
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