Amazon gets cloud services back online

Company 'digging deeply' into cause of crash that took Energy, social media sites with it

After a three-day outage that affected some popular social media sites and an Energy Department collaboration site for part of that time, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has restored service for a majority of its customers.

The service disruption was reported on Thursday morning, April 21, after a failure occurred at the AWS regional datacenter in Northern Virginia, as previously described .

Amazon attributed the outages to latency and connectivity issues affecting its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Service (RDS). Also affected were those with Elastic Block Store (EBS) storage volumes running on EC2. The company said it will get the bottom of what caused the failure.


Related story:

Amazon cloud crash keeps Energy site offline


"We are digging deeply into the root causes of this event and will post a detailed postmortem," the company said in a status update on its Service Health Dashboard Sunday night. Amazon indicated it has contacted the customers it knows were affected by the outage but urged those that were still having issues to contact the company.

"The vast majority of affected EBS volumes have been restored by this point, and we are working through a more time-consuming recovery process for remaining volumes," the company said Sunday afternoon.

A number of customers were affected, including Foursquare, Reddit, Quora and HootSuite, though they are all back online. Enery's OpenEI.org site was offline for almost two day, coming back online late on April 22.

Nonetheless, Amazon's outage was significant enough that it will likely cause those who have reserved judgment over the use of cloud computing services to sustain those reservations. For others, it will place greater emphasis on service-level agreements and redundancy.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner and an editor-at-large at Redmond magazine, affiliate publications of Government Computer News.

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