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This morning, as I tried to view my photos on SmugMug, I was surprised to discover that their site is offline. Here is their blog post about it.

SmugMug's entire site is down due to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) being offline due to elevated error rates.

Storage, bandwidth and computing power are scalability issues that every Web 2.0 company needs to tackle in order to succeed. Many have turned to Amazon S3 as part of the solution. However on days like today, it makes me wonder if there is a way to utilize multiple cloud computing platforms to prevent this kind of single point of failure.

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Comment by Daniel Leuck on July 20, 2008 at 11:37am
Thank you for pointing out this SmugMug post. We plan to use S3 for ooi, our new social networking company. I was relieved to read that this is a rarity, and they are still happy with the service. They write:

SmugMug: Historically, Amazon has been very stable. We’ve seen three of these in our entire history with Amazon (>2 years), including this one.

This is consistent with our research.

Truman: However on days like today, it makes me wonder if there is a way to utilize multiple cloud computing platforms to prevent this kind of single point of failure.

That is an interesting idea. It would be preferable to have Amazon build this type of redundancy on their side and make it transparent, but for apps that require five nines of up time perhaps use of two utility storage services makes sense.

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