AWS Crashes: The Heart of the Internet Notice something strange? If you spent any time online in the last week, you may have noticed that some of your favorite websites, applications, and games all crashed at the same time. Can’t watch the newest season of The Witcher? Did your game of Rocket League get cut short? Maybe you couldn’t open your files on Adobe Creative Cloud? Well, believe it or not, all of these services run on the same server system, Amazon Web Services (AWS). So, when AWS crashes, the entire internet may suffer in some capacity. What is AWS? Amazon Web Services is the biggest cloud computing network in the world. It offers over 200 individual services, such as providing a space for companies to place their websites, internal servers, and store data. AWS is essential to many businesses. It allows all their tech to be maintained and managed all in the same place. In addition, the reliability of AWS servers provides businesses with a sense of security… most of the time. Why does AWS keep going down? If AWS is known for its reliability, why does it keep going down? Well, it varies from instance to instance. The most recent major outage was caused by a single data server location losing power. Large companies such as Slack and Hulu had their information stored at this location, so when the data center went down, their services also went down. AWS has backup systems in place to prevent companies from feeling the effects of a power-outage, but as of late, they don’t seem to be working. Within the month of December, there have been 3+ major outages, which have affected companies like Netflix, Hulu, and DoorDash. Why does everyone use AWS? Amazon Web Services provides companies with a cheap alternative to developing their own web software. Some of the largest companies in the world, such as Netflix, use AWS. With a value of over 220 billion dollars, Netflix is one of AWS’s biggest customers. It’s estimated that Netflix pays just shy of 10 million dollars to AWS every month¹. If a company is willing to spend 120 million dollars on AWS every year, AWS must be doing something right. But is there a point at which developing your own software and buying your own servers is cheaper? For Netflix, it seems, the cost of buying data centers around the country to hold their entire catalog of movies and shows would be too steep. Will AWS always be this important? This is a difficult question to answer. There’s no doubt that cloud computing will be important for the next couple of decades at least, but who knows whether or not it could eventually get replaced. Servers may become small enough and cheap enough to be owned by smaller businesses. This means that businesses may not have to pay these cloud computing companies to use their services. The reverse of this may also be true, though. As computers get cheaper, AWS and other cloud computing services may be able to lower their prices. Economies of scale would keep AWS as the cheapest, most cost-effective option. How can you get involved? If Amazon Web Services and cloud computing seem interesting to you, a career in application support may be a good option. Apprentice Now offers an immersive online learning experience that can help you land an application support job. With employer-paid learning, it’s a great* pathway to a fulfilling, high-paying career.Sources:
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