Netflix, Reddit, Instagram, Quora, and Foursquare were a few of the high-profile sites downed by Amazon’s latest cloud crash. Yesterday evening, Amazon’s system was disrupted in Virginia, causing some of its most prolific users sites to go down. Reddit tweeted last night the “Amazon’s US-EAST data centers have all dropped off the Internet.”
The outage comes less than a week after a lightning bolt in Ireland knocked out a local Amazon data center. In that case, nature was to blame for the resulting explosion that caused a power outage. But unfortunately, an Amazon cloud crash isn’t all that surprising. This past spring, an outage of epic proportions struck Amazon’s database, downing sites and even losing customer data. Reddit was one of the affected sites, and is now a repeat victim.
According to Amazon, a technical error is to blame. A network traffic shift was “executed incorrectly,” routing traffic to a lower-capacity Elastic Block Store network. The server disruption resulted in site lag and connection issues.
Any Amazon customers are likely to be at least somewhat wary anytime service is disrupted. The last outage lasted two days and Amazon was notoriously quiet about the situation until after the fact. Only a week after the outage did Amazon issue an apology for the down time. In this instance, the necessary repairs were made within a half hour, although Reddit did comment via Twitter Amazon hadn’t confirmed its database was up and running properly.
The moment there’s a hiccup with cloud services, skeptics are quick to cry foul, saying cloud-based services have too many insecurities. That’s especially true when trouble strikes a company like Amazon, which comparably has significant experience with cloud databases. If there’s a problem with Amazon, it might just mean there’s a problem with the cloud. But consumers are generally jumping on board with this technology, and it’s going to take more than the outages we’ve seen thus far to outweigh the convenience of the cloud.
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