What does it take to prevent an internet outage?
A major part of Amazon's cloud service was down for hours this week, causing many popular websites to load slowly or not at all.
BY ALYSSA NEWCOMB, NBC News
(NBC News) - Remember the old adage, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket?"
Companies may want to heed that advice when it comes to where they store their data, according to experts.
A major part of Amazon's cloud service was down for hours this week, causing many popular websites to load slowly or not at all. This was the second major internet outage in the last six months after a botnet attack on Dyn brought part of the internet to a standstill.
The outage showed just how much many websites, such as Slack, Trello and Medium; and small businesses, rely on Amazon Web Services. Netflix, which also uses Amazon Web Services, was — to the internet's relief — not impacted by the outage.
"It's kinda terrifying how much of the internet is down because of the AWS outage right now," one person wrote on Twitter.
Mehdi Daoudi, CEO of Catchpoint Systems, a digital experience monitoring company, said the issue isn't with the service providers or the inevitable outages — it's the fact that many companies don't spread their data across multiple regions.
"It's bound to happen. They think the cloud is some magical la la land where nothing happens and everything is hunky dory," Daoudi told NBC News. "We moved from a model where a company would have your servers, data center, your stuff, to outsourcing it."
It's unclear what caused the partial Amazon Web Services outage, but Jeremiah Grossman, chief of security at SentinelOne, told NBC News that it's important to remember nothing is perfect.
"No matter what anyone does, there will be single points of failure. There's no way to guarantee 100 percent up time," Grossman said.
In order for the internet not to grind to a halt, Grossman and Daoudi both agreed it's important for companies to have a redundancy plan, such as having a back-up in another data center.
Sure, it's costly — Daoudi compared it to "buying a second home." However, in the event of another outage like the one we experienced on Tuesday, it could make all the difference in keeping businesses running smoothly.
"You have systems that are smart enough to know that when the primary is down, it switches automatically to the secondary," Daoudi said.
Another option is to run "an active and passive system," putting the down time of switching between the two at just a few minutes, Daoudi said. He compared it to grabbing what you can from your home, getting in the car, and moving it to a second location.
Most experts contacted by NBC News said that for now, a redundancy plan may be the best way to ensure the internet keeps running smoothly, even when outages happen.
"It's not a cheap thing," Daoudi said. "You have to learn your lessons, but that is the cost of doing business."