A website can be programmed to turn off certain features but keep the main part of the site up and running if parts of a system go down. In this case, someone browsing to the site would still be able to use basic functions of the site, but may not be able to make a purchase on the site. If a website is to be hosted at multiple locations, a browse-only mode could be active so that even if AWS does go out, a bare-bones version of the site is still accessible to users.
3. Use a third party in the AWS Marketplace
Other third-party vendors offer services within AWS's ecosystem for customers to create highly available systems. Amazon Web Services launched a marketplace of applications and services that have been optimized to run on AWS.
Customers can chose a variety of load balancers from one of these partners, such as Riverbed's Stingray division. Apurva Dave, VP of product marketing for the company, says there is a benefit to taking a "best of breed" approach of using third-party apps instead of simply relying on AWS for services such as load balancing.
"Have you ever been at an airport when a flight is canceled?" he says, as an analogy. "Everyone's in an immediate rush to get to the customer service desk and they wait in line. Then there are other folks, who just call their travel agent directly and the problem is taken care of. We're that travel agent that directs your traffic where it needs to go." Riverbed Stingray immediately and automatically redirects traffic over a dedicated network, avoiding the bottlenecks created in the AWS environment. Like the RightScale option, there are various levels of service that customers can choose from, ranging in price depending on how fault tolerant the system is.
As Hilgendorf says, and Dave agrees: It's a cost-benefit analysis for the business. "There are some apps where it's OK if it does down for an hour a month," Dave says. "But there are tons of apps that can't afford that."