From minor to major
Five months ago in June it was Mother Nature giving Amazon Web Services (AWS) fits, Monday’s outages in North Virginia are being blamed on technical difficulties with the servers themselves. Unfortunately for Amazon and the customers that use and rely on web services, what started as a small issue became a full-blown outage. Services including Reddit, Foursquare, Minecraft and Heroku, were down. GitHub, imgur, Pocket, HipChat, Coursera and others are affected.
The outage started around 2:10pm Eastern Time, and originally affected “a small number” of those that use the Amazon Web Services platform in the US-EAST-1 Region. The AWS Help Dashboard was quick to post that the Northern Virginia data center was experiencing “Degraded Elastic Bloc System (EBS) performance in a single Availability Zone” that appeared to take down or severely degrade performance of sites including Reddit, Flipboard, Airbnb, and Github.
As the Amazon issue grew in severity, other services gegan crashing. Amazon’s RDS database instances and Elastic Beanstalk went down in North Virginia, Minecraft, Pinterest, Foursquare and Airbnb also crashed. Finally, AWS’s ElastiCache and CloudWatch began experiencing delays and connectivity issues.
What is going on and why?
The outage affect services both large and small, and of course left users and developers wondering why seemingly half of the Internet is going down every time an AWS data center experiences issues. A third of North Virginian’s now access a site that uses Amazon Web Services as its backend at least once a day, according to a recent DeepField Networks survey.
As of this writing (Monday night), Amazon said it restored normal performance to about half of the instances affected, although it did not say how long it would be before service was fully restored.