A bad week for Amazon's clouds; less than 48 hours after European cloud services were restored, the company's US servers saw an outage that affected some big-name clients.
Netflix, Foursquare, and Reddit were among those impacted by an hour-long outage at Amazon's Northern Virginia facility. At about 11:20pm EDT, @Netflixhelps tweeted "We're aware that some members are experiencing issues streaming movies and TV shows. We’re working to resolve the problem." At the same time, @4squSupport stated that FourSquare was "currently down due to the Amazon EC2 outage", and @redditstatus went from "We're seeing issues communicating with Amazon EC2. Please stand by." to "The site's back up" in the same hour.
All in all, Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) service and the relational database service (RDS) was down for just under an hour, but the damage extended a bit longer for many customers. The explanation was that network routing was "executed incorrectly" and traffic was mistakenly sent to a server which was set up for much lower capacity -- taking it out very quickly.
As many have noted, this comes close on the heels of issues in Dublin, where both Microsoft's BPOS and Amazon's EC2 cloud servers were reported to have been taken offline by a lightning strike on a nearby power transformer over the weekend. European cloud customers experienced 4 hours of downtime from the Microsoft issues, while Amazon's troubles extended across two days for some customers.
Added to a major April outage of Amazon's cloud, in which data was actually rendered unrecoverable, some companies may be re-thinking the long-term stability of a cloud-based deployment. A few details were repeated in both instances -- from a misdirection of traffic involving a secondary network of lower load handling ability, to some downtime for Foursquare users. Amazon apologized --and reimbursed -- a number of affected parties, but it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Amazon's promises of upgrades and prevention may not have done the trick.
James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Two of Us-Dating Service excels at connecting quality singles from all walks of life. They are well-respected and conduct highly personalized compatibility searches for over 40,000 exclusive members nationwide.