Amazon loses customers over latest web services failure

By Graeme Burton
06 Jul 2012 View Comments
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Anger is growing following the second outage in a month affecting Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-based services suite provided by online retailer Amazon.

One user, a dating agency website called WhatsYourPrice.com, has even publicly announced that it will cease using Amazon EC2 and switch to an alternative provider instead.

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In a statement, the site's founder and CEO, Brandon Wade, blasted Amazon and criticised the inaccessibility of the company after the service failed.

When Amazon's EC2 service experienced an outage on 14 June, WhatsYourPrice.com was flooded with thousands of member complaints, said Brandon, and repeated calls to Amazon's support team "yielded no response".

When AWS experienced another outage last weekend, he added, the company decided to permanently move its website over to a Las Vegas-based hosting facility.

"Amazon's failure has negatively affected our website's reputation as a reliable online dating destination," said Wade. "One hundred per cent uptime is a required SLA for anyone providing cloud computing services. Amazon's inability to provide such service levels is the main reason we have decided to quit using Amazon Web Services EC2 altogether."

WhatsYourPrice.com describes itself as "the world's largest online date-auction website" – a business category it probably doesn't share with too many rivals.

There are, however, a growing number of rivals to Amazon's web services stack, including the open-source OpenStack software, which hosting provider Rackspace helped to develop.

Rackspace is one of a number of companies looking to move up the "food chain" from server and web hosting into cloud services. Open source offers potential users the reassurance that they won't suffer vendor lock-in; indeed, that they ought to be able to move their data and services with ease, should the need arise.

Other public cloud alternatives include GoGrid, Slicehost and Linode.

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