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Down shouldn’t mean out

Down shouldn’t mean out

  • By Andrew |

Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced its worst outage in history last week, going down for four hours, and crippling nearly 150,000 websites. The cause – human error – or to be more specific, a typo during a routine billing system debug that caused more servers to be removed than needed.

AWS is on pace to become a $14 billion business over the next year. It provides Amazon with much of its operating income, and they are far and away the largest provider of cloud infrastructure in the world. But despite all that, last week’s outage proved that mistakes can still happen, and more importantly, they will happen again.

The question Webscale has been getting, since this happened, is what can be done to mitigate this kind of disaster? As a company that’s focused on taking e-commerce businesses into the cloud, we know that four hours of downtime, or just performance so slow that users abandon your site altogether, can be catastrophic for one’s brand reputation and revenue.

The answer is actually simple, and you only need look at Amazon themselves for the answer. As Business Insider noted in their story, Amazon didn’t experience any issues during the outage, because its infrastructure is spread across multiple geographic zones, so if any one region has a problem, it fails over to the backup zone with minimal disruption. Many large AWS customers do the same thing – Apple, Walmart, Costco – but contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be their size, or have their IT teams to do the same.

Webscale’s Cloud Rescue (or Cloud Mirror if you’re already deployed on a Webscale platform) maintains a near real-time replica of your web application backend systems in an alternate cloud region, enabling smooth failover with minimal downtime in the event of a service or cloud provider outage. We’ll get you back up and running in 60 minutes or less – much less painful than the four hours you may have endured on Tuesday – and our proactive 24x7x365 support team will manage everything, including the ongoing monitoring and management of your web application infrastructure.

With shoppers abandoning websites that take more than a few seconds to load, even a one second delay in page load time could cost an e-commerce business making $100,000 a day, more than $2.5 Million a year. When even AWS has proved itself susceptible to downtime, businesses need to really understand their options when it comes to disaster recovery and

Like to learn more? Drop us a note at and one of our specialists can talk you through your options.


Andrew hails from the UK, but headed for the warmer Bay Area climate over a decade ago. When he’s not being Webscale’s VP of Marketing, he’s a husband, father, dog walker, wine taster, and hopeless home improver.