Oops – Amazon’s Cloud Crash!

The Amazon Web Services status dashboard is reporting an ongoing failure of its EC2 service on its servers based in Northern Virgina. This is classic “unscheduled outage” that  I wrote in my last blog on the importance of  Cloud Tone (uninterrupted service 24 by 7). As soon as Amazon flashed in its AWS status about the crash, Twitter was flooded with many of its clients reporting shutdown of their applications.

The list kept growing as of now – FourSquare, Quora, HootSuite, SCVNGR, Discovr, Wildfire, Livefyre, CampgroundManager.com, Totango, Reddit, ESchedule, ZAhosting, Recorded Future, PercentMobile, Elog.com, E’Cairn, Drupal Gardens, The Cydia Store, PeekYou, Gamechanger,….

Given the extent of AWS, it is hard to pinpoint where exactly is the problem – EC2, S3, Database, …. As more and more components crashed in Amazon’s east coast data center, someone said, “it feels like to be a radio announcer on a snow day reciting school closures after another! The only thing is, there’s no kids cheering.”

The cloud euphoria is at its peak, as the savior of capital expenditure and bring agility and flexibility. However, such instances of outage are what many critics have been afraid of.  Rock solid reliability and availability will be of paramount importance as we move forward.


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