Amazon EC2 Outlook: Cloudy With A Chance of Downtime
Amazon’s EC2 cloud service has had a major outage this morning, causing several popular web properties to virtually disappear from the web. Sites such as Reddit, Quora and Hootsuite have been left either entirely down or with limited functionality while Amazon hurries to repair the problems.
The issue seems to have begun in the US-East-1 region of the Amazon EC2 cloud infrastructure, first appearing at 1:41 a.m. PDT. Since then, Amazon’s Web Services Status Dashboard has offered few clues as to how long the outage is expected to last. Currently, the N. Virginia EC2 and Relational Database services are still reporting severe errors, with no signs of progress towards a resolution. In a note posted at 8:14 a.m. PDT, Amazon’s engineering team states “Despite the continued effort from the team to resolve the issue we have not made any meaningful progress for the affected database instances since the last update. Create and Restore requests for RDS database instances are not succeeding in US-EAST-1 region.”
This latest hiccup further highlights the complexities and potential pitfalls of the rush to cloud computing. With massive consolidation of assets in larger datacenters, there is clearly an increased capacity for failures that will affect large swaths of the internet. Considering that one of the highly touted benefits of cloud computing is increased redundancy and reliability, this kind of outage may give many would-be cloud adopters a reason to think twice before putting all of their eggs in one cloudy basket.