Amazon Restores EC2

Attributes outages to latency, connectivity issues

Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it has restored service for most of its customers following an outage that left several of its customer organizations crippled for more than three days.

The service disruption last Thursday morning occurred because of a failure at AWS' regional data center located in Northern Virginia, as previously reported.

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 investigate what caused the failure and publish its findings.

"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.

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 editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.