Amazon Cloud Outage Persists, Customers Angered


A cloud outage and disruption that rocked Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and other services continued to wreak havoc Friday morning, more than 24 hours after the Amazon cloud outage was first noticed.

And early Friday, Amazon's cloud team continued to scramble to get its cloud fully back on line.

"We continue to make progress in restoring volumes but don't yet have an estimated time of recovery for the remainder of the affected volumes," Amazon wrote Friday at 5:41 a.m. Eastern in an update on its AWS Service Health Dashboard. "We will continue to update this status and provide a time frame when available."

That update comes after a 1:58 a.m. Friday update in which Amazon said it is "all-hands on deck" trying to add capacity to the affected zone and re-mirror stuck volumes.

"It's taking us longer than we anticipated to add capacity to this fleet," Amazon wrote. "When we have an updated ETA or meaningful new update, we will make sure to post it here. But, we can assure you that the team is working this hard and will do so as long as it takes to get this resolved."

Amazon has not responded to CRN's request for comment on the outage.

Amazon Web Service EC2 experienced outages and interruptions in its North Virginia region starting early Thursday morning. The outages caused some major Web sites that are Amazon EC2 cloud customers to experience hiccups or to be knocked off line. Some major Amazon customers like Foursquare, HootSuite, Quora and Reddit took the biggest hit, while a host of other sites also struggled to maintain service due to the outage.

As of Friday morning, some Amazon EC2 customers were still experiencing intermittent issues.

"Reddit is in 'emergency read-only mode' right now because Amazon is experiencing a degradation. They are working on it but we are still waiting for them to get to our volumes. There is no ETA at this time, but we are trying to work some magic and will very slowly be bringing the site back up. Please stand by," Reddit wrote across the top of its homepage.

Angered users took to an Amazon Web Services forum to voice concern and displeasure.

"Amazon, give us an ETA so that we can decide if we can wait or if we move on with our lives and start rolling out new servers from scratch!!!," one user wrote late Thursday night.

Other Amazon EC2 users were put off by Amazon's lack of communication regarding the outages and interruptions.

"The outage is bad enough, don't make it worse by leaving us in the dark," one said.

Another user wrote: "Also a note to the Amazon customer service team. If you are going to post something, posting something meaningful or some sort of useful bit of information not just regurgitated and vague automated replies that just makes us even more confused and hopeless. Understand that this is a major outage and lots of us are losing money because of the downtime and VERY LIKEY to switch cloud providers once this is resolved!"

Users also questioned if they would be compensated for the downtime as part of their service level agreement.

"This will be difficult to explain to my customers," one user wrote. "SLAs are being severely affected. Is Amazon going to compensate us for this major outage?"

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