Amazon Service Outage Reinforces Cloud Doubts

The incident could curb business adoption of hosted application or storage services.

The prolonged outage of's EC2 cloud service late last month could set back adoption of hosted services by giving some companies -- especially those that are on the fence about migrating to the cloud -- a strong argument for taking it slowly.

For other organizations, Amazon's problems reinforced an already-held belief that cloud services can't match an enterprise IT operation when it comes to meeting the technology needs of business or government entities.

More than a week after the days-long partial outage started on April 21, Amazon released a detailed 5,700-word postmortem and mea culpa that identified the culprit as a configuration error that occurred during a network upgrade.

"The recent outage confirmed, for us, that cloud services are not yet ready for prime time," said Paul Haugan, CTO for the city of Lynnwood, Wash. The city had been looking into Amazon's cloud offerings, he added.

"Cloud services [as a whole] need some more maturing and a much more hardened infrastructure and security model prior to our adoption," Haugan said.

Jay Leader, a senior vice president and CIO at iRobot, whose products include the Roomba vacuum cleaner, said the Amazon outage illustrates well the limitation of cloud computing.

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