July 1, 2012 – Amazon’s Elastic Cloud service is operating normally again after powerful storms on the East Coast knocked one of its northern Virginia data centers offline Friday evening.
Amazon’s EC2 Cloud noted service disruption starting at 8:21 p.m. ET Friday, with the top cloud vendor pointing to power outages in the region as the culprit, according to its AWS Service Health Dashboard on Sunday evening. Along with EC2, there were issues with other cloud offerings such as CloudSearch, CloudWatch, ElastiCache and RDS into Saturday, all of which are housed at its northern Virginia data centers. Services had fully recovered by approximately 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
In an incident report released late Monday, Amazon cited a lack of backup power at the Virginia location as the cause of the service outage. The report came a few days after Amazon stated it would detail the root cause.
Other Amazon locations were hit with the storms, too, but their redundant power kicked in properly. The outage represented a "single-digit percentage" of its cloud output, but the services -- including Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram -- had direct customer impacts. One small data website announced it was leaving AWS due to the "repeated outages."
A heat wave and storms caused mass power outages, downed trees and even accounted for more than a dozen deaths along the Eastern U.S. through the weekend, according to Reuters.
In mid-June, a power outage from a faulty electricity distribution system at the same northern Virginia cloud data center disrupted some offerings up to seven hours.