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Amazon EC2 Outage Takes Down Websites

Published
  • April 21 2011, 4:56pm EDT
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Amazon.com Inc’s cloud service, Elastic Compute Cloud, is experiencing errors and latency today, paralyzing a number of websites. Highly trafficked websites such as Foursquare, Quora and Reddit reported problems due to the outage.

The Amazon Web Services Health dashboard reports “instance connectivity, latency and error rates” for its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia, impacting two availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region.

Amazon acknowledged problems as early as 1:41 a.m. PDT on April 21 and has posted updates on its Service Health Dashboard throughout the day as progress to remedy the situation is made. However, an accurate estimated time for full recovery is difficult to predict. The website states that “all-hands are on deck to recover as quickly as possible.”

Analyst firms predict significant growth in the cloud computing sector. Research firm IDC predicts a $27 billion in net new IT revenue by 2013, 27 percent of which will come from cloud services. The outage highlights the risks still involved with a hosted model.

Amazon Amazon Relational Database Service in North Virginia is also experiencing “database instance connectivity and latency issues.” Though the company states that they are making progress, they recommend "that you do not attempt to recover using Reboot or Restore database instance APIs or try to create a new user snapshot for your RDS instance - currently those requests are not being processed.”

Status updates are available at http://status.aws.amazon.com/.

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