Earlier this week at the Cloud Connections conference, Amazon Technology Evangelist Jinesh Varia discussed the flexibility and agility that cloud computing can provide to enterprises and businesses that deploy it in his "The Cloud as a Platform" keynote address.

Varia touted the cloud as an ideal platform for a wide variety of use cases, from elastic, on-demand instances with fluctuating workloads to dedicated cloud instances that provide the enhanced security and regulatory requirements that some businesses require. (I've embedded Varia's presentation below.)

While the cloud is well-known as a provider of hosting services for web apps -- Varia pointed out that movie rental giant Netflix runs on Amazon services -- recent events serve as a reminder that cloud computing providers, much like internal IT resources, aren't infallible.

Some of Amazon's cloud services started experiencing intermittent problems on Wednesday the 20th -- according to the Amazon Web Services service health dashboard -- and some of those problems remained by the evening of Friday, April 22nd.

It's important to note that not all companies using Amazon web services were impacted by the problems, and Netflix continued to stream content as usual. But the outage did impact other companies that rely on Amazon's web services, including Quora, Reddit, and Heroku.

So should this have everyone running to the hills and abandoning their cloud IT ambitions? Cloud computing still should be considered a vital part of any business technology deployment decision, but it's clear that cloud computing is still in its infancy and the risks of failure can be very real (and in the case of some Amazon partners, expensive.)

Let me know what you think by commenting on this blog post or following me on Twitter.

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