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AWS Eastern Region Recovers From Networking Problems, Outages

Amazon's private connectivity service, Direct Connect, lost connections to two important colocation operators as intermittent networking problems also impacted enterprise customers.

All AWS services had recovered by midday Friday after outages made several enterprise collaboration products choppy, disabled Amazon's Alexa home assistant and interrupted hybrid cloud deployments.

The public cloud leader experienced two distinct problems in its North Virginia data center—one with the Direct Connect dedicated link to two large colocation operators on the East Coast; the other involving a power outage at a peering facility connected to its internal network, according to the AWS service health dashboard.

AWS first acknowledged Direct Connect problems at 7:29 a.m. PST, saying it was investigating packet loss hampering those low-latency connections between the AWS region and several Equinix data centers in the Washington D.C. area, as well as two CoreSite facilities in Virginia.

[Related: Partners Praise AWS For Solving Intra-Region Connectivity Challenges With New Offering]

That Direct Connect problem was entirely resolved by 10:26 a.m., the service health dashboard reported.

Before the Direct Connect failure, an apparently separate networking problem stemming from the power outage at an unidentified peering facility stirred up headaches for customers starting at 6:23 a.m. PST. That issue lasted about 10 minutes but was repeated at 8:11 in the morning for another 10-minute stretch.

The AWS status message on the network outage noted Amazon's network is designed for redundancy, with each cloud region connected to multiple independent peering facilities.

"Some customers experienced elevated latency and packet loss while the network rerouted affected traffic to these unaffected network peering facilities. Some packet loss was also observed as we restored traffic to the affected network peering facility," AWS said.

Popular business collaboration services were impacted all morning. Slack, Twilio and Atlassian all reported problems stemming from connectivity loss at the AWS Eastern region. Customers of Amazon's Echo smart speakers complained of troubles using the Alexa voice assistant during the outage window.

Enterprises build hybrid clouds by operating private infrastructure in colocation facilities provided by companies like Equinix and CoreSite, then establishing low-latency connections to Amazon's Cloud via Direct Connect from those sites.

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