First off want to say that whatever form your winter holiday may have taken, I hope it was spent celebrating with friends and family. For me this time of year is the time to focus on being grateful. Seems so natural to focus on the tragedies and miss the many miracles that each day brings.
I know of one company that was not having a great winter holiday, popular streaming movie service Netflix. Due to some technical issue over at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Netflix was offline starting Christmas Eve 12/24 and most of Christmas Day 12/25 and then again on New Year’s Day (the DVD site only this time). Probably the worst time possible for an outage when millions of families are at home wanting to see movies together. As we see in this TG Daily article regarding Amazon Web Services, it turns out the outage was due to a single developer error. Hey when you have humans involved in a process there will be errors and given the scale AWS operate at I would say they are doing an excellent job overall.
Services like Amazon make money on the basis that the vast majority of business applications have similar service needs. This lets Amazon pool resources—people, servers, network bandwidth etc.—and share them across many customers. Works great for standard business applications but breaks down for applications like billing, which are significantly more complicated than a standard business application and require extraordinary levels of reliability — security/availability/scalability.
That is why we manage our own infrastructure here at Aria Systems. We have a dedicated team of technical professionals under the leadership of Oleg Ganopolskiy that have a deep understanding of our business, our application and individual customer needs. Really the only way to go as a billing service vendor. If you happen to be evaluating SaaS billing service providers make sure you ask who they are partnered with on the infrastructure side and how they operate their infrastructure.
- J. Gettinger, Aria Systems