AWS data centre taken out by US storms

Jul 2, 2012 8:08 AM
Filed under Communications

Power outage hits Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram.

An Amazon Web Services data centre briefly lost power during violent electrical storms across the eastern part of the United States that killed at least 13 people and left millions without power.

The storms, fuelled by humidity and soaring daytime temperatures, produced heavy rain, lightning and "tornadic level" winds, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Amazon Web Services lodged an incident report at 8.21pm PDT Friday (10.21am Saturday AEST) of "connectivity issues" in its US-EAST-1 region, serviced by a facility in Northern Virginia.

Approximately 20 minutes later, it noted: "We can confirm that a large number of instances in a single Availability Zone have lost power due to electrical storms in the area. We are actively working to restore power".

Although power was restored to the facility after a further nine minutes, it took a number of hours to recover impacted AWS instances and elastic block store (EBS) volumes.

It recovered approximately half the affected instances by 11.19pm (1.19pm Saturday AEST), and had everything operating normally again by 12.56pm US time the following day (2.56am Sunday July 1, AEST).

The outage impacted a number of popular social media services, including photo-sharing service Instagram, and Pinterest. The Instagram downtime is known to have impacted Australian users, and extended until well after Amazon reported full restoration of services.

TechCrunch also reported Netflix as another service impacted by the AWS problems.

Netflix and Pinterest apologised for the outages via their respective Twitter accounts.

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AWS data centre taken out by US storms
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