Web Hosting: Why Amazon Isn’t Making It Any Better

By | October 27, 2012

Or, Why Amazon makes web hosting look bad

Wait, wha?!

Yeah. You read that right. Amazon is almost single-handedly hurting the image of hosting, especially Cloud hosting. “But how?” I’m sure you are wondering. Well, when everyone uses the same provider to do everything from running their apps (Heroku) to powering half of the Internet’s daily-posted photos (Pinterest) to half of America’s streaming movies (Netflix) and doesn’t bother to check to see about the survivability of that provider (Amazon), things can go bad for a lot of people really fast. And that was just this last week.

But, how does Amazon contribute to web hosting being so bad? Well, falling down and then coming back up more often than the late Texas Tornado (wooden roller coaster: not the safest bet), Amazon is used by a ridiculous amount of companies and individuals that should probably know better, but don’t seem to be as smart as we all make them out to be. The other day, I read that over 90% of Y-Combinator startups use AWS to power their applications. Over 90%?!!? Yeah. Ridiculousness.

To be honest, Amazon isn’t that bad. But the fact that such a visible and respected leader continues to falter shows that maybe people should be looking at the very least to have their redundancy outside of Amazon Web Services. I’ll be honest, I think that the guys behind Github, Minecraft and Reddit are a little more savvy than the Flipboard and Pinterest guys, and I could totally be wrong, but it doesn’t matter. They went down with everyone else. In fact, after the last major outage, the guys over at Netflix stopped using Amazon EBS as their main storage service. Smart. But it was after they got burned pretty bad.

The issue, as James Gosling is always talking about, is survivability. If you don’t know what is going to happen when your hardware or platform falls down, and where it will be running after that, then you have a problem. Supposedly, Amazon has solutions in place for that, but at least 3 times this years (3 major times), they have had outages that have lasted whole days. Not good when you are talking about revenue and lost customers, or even more importantly, mission critical stuff, like dozens of $150,000 robots lost at sea.

At Jelastic, we understand the need for redundancy and the paranoia of survivability. That’s why we don’t use just one partner, datacenter or provider to offer Jelastic. We realize that you care about your applications and their survivability. That’s why we have made sure, all the way down to the virtualization layer, that your applications and data are safe. Not only is our PaaS available in 6 more countries than Amazon—or the other PaaS providers that use them, like Heroku or DotCloud—but that number is growing every day.

If you are on Amazon, we’re sorry. But we promise, if you come to us, not only will you have access to an unrivaled PaaS, but you will also have access to an unrivaled network of high-quality providers offering our platform around the world.

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