Planning vs. Mother Nature… You Lose.

by Caezar M

it doesn’t matter if you have the best system in the world, Mother Nature will always best you. You can have the best planning and execution for any type of scenario but and even those are no match for say, a lightning bolt. This was a recent issue with Amazon’s cloud service, in which a lightning bolt took out a transformer. Now thats not all that un common, just kick in the generators, right? in theory but as Tony Bradley explains “in a nutshell, the lightning strike was direct and powerful enough that it simultaneously took out the transformer, and phase control system necessary for initiating the backup generator system.” (bradley, 2011) This ment that numerous businesses that use the cloud services from amazon were temporarily un supported while the systems were fully recovered. this does not mean that amazon failed in their responsibility to support a reliable system it just means that they have more planning to do. for the business owner using these cloud services it means that you need to have some sort of redundency because nothing is 100% safe.


This is an interesting article because it is about the physical hardware that the databases themselves are made of not just the database functions. we demand so much from the database infrastructure, and yet we take for granted that it actually takes people to make these things work. Amazon might have had a outage but its not to say that they were unprepared for such an event. the best planning in the world can be compromized by the most simplest of things. its basically a statistical anomoly, its not impossiblethat such events can happen, its just HIGHLY improboble. so we cant see every bump on the road, but we can plan for most of them. in Amazon’s case they did the best they could to provide the very best service to their customers and im sure this will prompt them to re think how they implement their generators even if this is a statistical anomoly.

Data centers are not impervious, they can be subject to a whole mess of situations namely natural disaster and terrorism. so what does the business person have to think about now? what must be taken into consideration is what would happen if your cloud services were temporarily un avaliable? can you still operate? this is why you should not trust any one source to host all your services, there should always be some redundency in any type of data storage operation. as is the case with amazon, they do have options avaliable for redundent data storage in case such an event occurs. so this i thinkis a humbling article that shows that no matter what there is no absolute security in any instance and we should all take active roles in the safeguarding of our systems and out data.

Tony Bradley. (2011, August 11). Lessons from Amazon Cloud Lightning Strike Outage. PCWorld. Retrieved October 07, 2011, from

2 thoughts on “Planning vs. Mother Nature… You Lose.”

  1. This is a pretty interesting article. I agree on nothing is 100% safe and the businesses should not rely on the cloud 100%, but as far as for businesses, they should not worry too much about these outlier incidents. Now I would argue that most of the businesses do back up their important data (payroll, accounting & finance) Just in case. However, I don’t think it is necessary for businesses to backup any other data, if they are already utilizing the cloud technology. Service providers have many backups than be used in the event of disasters.

  2. I agree with the author about the risk of nature. we should always have plan for our system incase of disaster and terrorism. The company that I work for has two systems locate different place. they are can backup intermediately when one down; however, we still consider for using cloud combuting to increase safety data.

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