Friday, April 22, 2011

Amazon Cloud Down for 12 Hours. What's the Lesson for a Small Business Owner

I love Amazon EC2. I love the concept. I love the technology. And I love the service it offers. Many, many, many companies that we're all familiar with and probably use frequently would never be if it wasn't for EC2.

Foursquare, Hootsuite, Quora, Reddit and many others all reply on EC2 for part or even all of their back end technology.

So when EC2 when down yesterday, everyone of these sites went down with it. Embarrassing, yes. Bad for business, yes. A pain in the butt, absolutely. But everyone one of these companies will survive and do fine, even though they were down for most of not all of the day. They'll do fine because they have pockets deep enough to absorb the loss. They'll do fine because they hire big PR firms to run damage control. They'll do fine because they've got millions of customers who use their services daily.

But what about your business? Where would you be if you were down for an entire day? No orders. No client service. Perhaps no email flowing. How easy would it be for your company to absorb a loss like that.

I'm not saying don't move to the Cloud. Cloud based technologies offer huge advantages to small businesses. But when you do make the move, do it smart. Get yourself a trusted advisor, one who knows 1) the Cloud, 2) your industry and 3) your company.

Get into the Cloud properly. Manage your risk, prepare contingencies, and use it to grow your business.