Monday, April 25, 2011

Recent EC2 related events and thesis update

I continue writing my thesis document, chapter 4 is finally taking form and will be finished this week. Then I first need to make a couple of additions and changes to my broker prototype, before I can start writing my final 5th chapter that handles about the evaluation of the performance (in terms of the achieved cost reduction) of my proposed broker. Will try my best to finish a draft before next Friday (May 6th) when I leave for San Fransisco to attend the Google IO conference.

Recently a couple of interesting EC2 related events happened.

With headlines as "Amazon Gets A Black Eye In The Cloud With Server Crash", "Amazon outage casts a cloud over cloud computing?", "Amazon’s EC2 Outage Proves Cloud Failure Recovery is a Myth!" and "Lessons From a Cloud Failure: It’s Not Amazon, It’s You". They all refer to the failures that began Thursday morning (US time) as the Amazon Cloud Crash. These failures were caused because of RDS databases that started to backup theirselves and connectivity problems in multiple availability zones in the US-East region. Popular websites such as Quara, Reddit, GroupMe and FourSquare were affected and weren't reachable for hours. Customers should foresee failure scenarios and do not rely on instances of single cloud provider in a single regions ... as always a single point of failure should be avoided. That's why AWS explicitly advises their developers to design their site’s architecture so that it is resilient to occasional failures and outages. This event brought cloud computing in the picture rather negatively, today the AWS website or AWS blog do not contain any articles telling their users what caused the outages. During the outages there was however a little update every hour or so on the AWS Health Dashboard, we see there that the recovery to bring everything back to normal took about 4 days.
Note: on Rightscale a good blogpost was found about the EC2 US-East outage.

On a different note on April 22th, AWS posted the public IP ranges used by the different geographical EC2 regions, accompanied by this introduction:
We are pleased to announce that as part of our ongoing expansion, we have added a new public IP range (APAC-Tokyo).
These IP ranges can be found here. They can be seen as an indication of the size of the different EC2 regions, it's interesting to have a look at how these number of IP addresses relate to each other:

From this data we see that more than half of all the public IP addresses provided by Amazon EC2 are situated in the US-East region, it is followed by EU-West and US-West who account for about 15 percent of the IP addresses. The Asian regions only represent less than 10 percent of the IP addresses, but these regions are the newest introduced regions and are possibly growing faster than the other regions.

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