The Cloud's Silver Lining? / by Dan Weingrod

Interesting that as yesterday's Amazon Cloud outage spread much of the reaction that I saw seemed rather muted. From Scvngr's reaction above to Quora's: "We'll be back shortly, we hope. Sorry - it sucks for us too. We'd point fingers, but we wouldn't be where we are today without EC2". It made me wonder if there's a different standard for #fail depending on who you are, or your perceived value and urgency in the marketplace.

Looking at these reactions, and some others, it seems like many of the social services on the Amazon Cloud are willing to cut it some slack because, as Quora seems to be saying, the Amazon cloud is one of us. So we can accept a failure and tell our participants to chill because our bandwidth partner espouses the same startup mentality that we do. Fair enough.

But what if Netflix, which runs on Amazon Web Services, were to fail for a day or two. I'm not sure we would see quite the same tolerantmessages or toleration from customers who have come to expect their video on immediate demand. Maybe the difference is that Reddit, Quora, SCVNGR and other more social sites are willing to let it go because they have a smaller customer base, less of a financial stake and less consumer urgency. It's kind of like a "hey, we're all in this together, dudes" message which assumes that a service's users are appreciative of the value they are getting, but at the same time understanding that a pause in getting those Quora questions answered is not the end of the world.

How long will this tolerance last? Likely till the next crash or till consumers get to the point that they feel that they absolutely cannot live without Quora or SCVNGR. Which reflects on the level of urgency we see in these services and potentially the level of urgency they see from their customers.

Meanwhile, Amazon's shares are up post outage.