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Amazon Web Services Suffer Second Outage in Seven Days
Amazon Web Services Suffer Second Outage in Seven Days

By Jennifer LeClaire
August 26, 2013 10:09AM

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'It appears that roughly once a quarter Amazon servers suffer glitches or problems and major websites go down. It's starting to become a problem for Amazon and the companies that rely on Amazon to host their sites, like Netflix. It's not clear what they can do about it except put pressure on Amazon," said Sterling Market Intelligence analyst Greg Sterling.
 



For the second time in a week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) went down again. I repeat: Amazon Web Services went down again. The service had yet another glitch on Sunday that reportedly took some big names down with it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, prominent websites and apps, including Airbnb, Facebook's Instagram, Twitter's Vine, all suffered outages. These apps have one thing in common: they all tap into Amazon's cloud-based network, known as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

"We know many of you are having trouble loading Instagram. We identified the issue and are working to fix it ASAP," Instagram posted on its Twitter feed. The BBC is reporting that the problems for U.S. consumers started around 4 p.m. ET and lasted for several hours with intermittent outages.

The Cost of Outages

Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment. During the outage, the company said it was investigating problems at its Virginia data center. According to the BBC, the problems were related to databases and the code controlling the core computers underlying AWS.

Amazon finally attributed the outages to a "partial failure of a networking device." Specifically, Amazon said the problem caused poor service in some Elastic Block Store (EBS) storage volumes, which led to some APIs (application programming interfaces) throwing errors.

"The networking device was removed from service, and we are performing a forensic investigation to understand how it failed," AWS said. "We are continuing to work on a small number of instances and volumes that require additional maintenance before they return to normal performance."

That's more than Amazon offered after last week's outage. A week ago Monday, AWS suffered an estimated 25-minute outage that could cost the e-commerce giant millions of dollars in lost sales. But it could also hurt the company's reputation, which could be more costly in the long term, especially considering that it's an ongoing issue. This e-tailer also saw outage issues with its Amazon Web Services in January, when it was down for 49 minutes.

Will Brands Pressure Amazon?

We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the Amazon outages. He told us the e-commerce giant is starting to see downtime with some regularity.

In fact, he pointed out a pattern: It appears that roughly once a quarter Amazon servers suffer glitches or problems and major websites go down.

"With web hosting there are always going to be occasional issues. But it's starting to become a problem for Amazon and the companies that rely on Amazon to host their sites, like Netflix," Sterling said.

"It's not clear, however, what they can do about it except put pressure on Amazon. It's up to Netflix, Facebook and Twitter to put pressure on Amazon to minimize these occurrences with additional infrastructure support and redundancy," he added.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Andy:

Posted: 2013-08-27 @ 4:11am PT
Quick correction: amazon.com the website had issues last week, not AWS.

Steve Frank:

Posted: 2013-08-27 @ 2:06am PT
Well This is really post for amazon ec2,the company's reputation, which could be more costly in the long term, especially considering that it's an ongoing issue.

http://www.cloudways.com/en/amazon-managed-cloud-hosting.php

Dan:

Posted: 2013-08-26 @ 6:01pm PT
Amazon's Creative Cloud billing system has been down for days. Is that part of the
AWS mess?



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


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