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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services suffered a power outage in its Northern Virginia data center on Thursday night, disrupting services at several Internet companies. Problems were first detected a little before midnight EDT and were declared resolved at 6:26 a.m. Eastern time, according to the Amazon Web Services Service Health Dashboard. “We can confirm a portion of a single Availability Zone in the US-EAST-1 Region lost power,” Amazon said on the dashboard.
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Pinterest, Quora, Heroku, and Parse were some of the websites affected by the outage that hit the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Relational Database Service, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk services.
In April last year, the same Amazon region had suffered another outage and caused “a re-mirroring storm,” with the loss of access to data resulting in systems duplicating information and jamming network traffic. Services at Amazon’s European zone data center were affected last August after a lightning strike in Dublin, Ireland.
Amazon Web Services promises clients 99.95 percent annual uptime, and the latest outage is sure to cause some concerns regarding the reliability and security of cloud services. Is it a case of a trend losing out due to its own popularity? Earlier this week, Amazon announced that its S3 online storage service had hit the 1 trillion object mark. Did someone say overload?
While competitors such as Rackspace (NYSE:RAX) and Joyent made the most of the long disruption by advertising their own services through social media, relatively impartial experts warned not to make too much of it. “AWS outages are still magnified out of proportion to their severity,” Tier1 Research analyst Carl Brooks told GigaOM. “It doesn’t help their credibility with the paleoconservative enterprise paranoid who will use this as an excuse to buy more absurdly overpriced IT from the usual suspects.”
Last month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology had said there were 23 “open issues” regarding cloud computing, including performance, reliability, economic goals, compliance, and information security.
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