On Tuesday, February 28th Amazon Web Services (AWS), the storage and hosting platform used by a large number of companies (including BigTime) experienced intermittent outages. The impact was far-reaching across many popular websites and services, including one of BigTime’s favorite productivity apps and integration partner, Slack. Though the outage was widely reported by national news outlets, some of the fallout was felt closer to home. In Chicago, BigTime’s hometown, local train commuters were unable to display their tickets to conductors using their mobile app. Electronic service updates from Metra, a Chicago commuter rail system, were also unavailable. So, if you were waiting on the platform and your train was late, your smartphone couldn’t tell you why. The Achilles Heel of Cloud Computing? With so many companies now relying on mega-service providers like AWS, Microsoft and Google for their infrastructure, are we seeing the Achilles heel of cloud computing through these big outages? David Linthicum, senior vice president at Cloud Technology Partners, a Boston-based company that helps enterprises migrate their data to cloud storage providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud said he doesn’t think Tuesday’s outage will keep people from using cloud storage. BigTime Software CEO Brian Saunders agrees. “BigTime is hosted on AWS and while we and our customers did feel the effects of the outage, the impact to our clients was minimal. For most small -to mid-sized businesses, the uptime, reliability, security and cost of large cloud services is much better than the alternative of buying and running internal servers.” 99.92% Uptime in February for Users of BigTime’s Time Tracking Software The AWS outage impacted our customers’ ability to synchronize data from their Lacerte Tax systems into BigTime. On Tuesday, February 28th between approximately 12:15 PM and 3:55 PM CST, the synchronization server that handles these requests was unavailable. None of our customer data was lost and all pending synchronizations have been processed successfully.