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Summary:

Amazon’s S3 cloud-based storage service went down earlier this morning, according to numerous tips we’ve received. The service has impacted many companies, including folks like Twitter. According to our tipsters, the service went down around 4:30 a.m., and is showing a 500 Internal Server Error message. […]

Amazon’s S3 cloud-based storage service went down earlier this morning, according to numerous tips we’ve received. The service has impacted many companies, including folks like Twitter. According to our tipsters, the service went down around 4:30 a.m., and is showing a 500 Internal Server Error message.

Amazon Web Services forums are full of people chatting about the outage. One poster on the forum summed up the situation nicely, saying, “The s3 service is great but this just proves you can’t rely on it, this is a major issue especially since it’s been down for so long. Way to go Amazon.”

This outage, one of the first large-scale problems to hit Amazon, shows that a lot of work needs to be done before we can completely rely on the cloud. As I have often said, we are running the 21st century web on infrastructure that was dreamed up in the 1990s, long before the web’s current scale. Still, that doesn’t take away my long-standing enthusiasm for Amazon’s web services strategy.

We will keep you posted. Meanwhile, let us know how you have  been impacted and what you are doing to build the redundancy of your web service.

Nick Carr has his take on the situation. “Given that entire businesses run on S3 and related services, Amazon has a particularly heavy responsibility not only to fix the problem quickly but to explain it fully,” he writes. I agree with him, and hopefully Amazon will do the needful. Amazon says it is fixed it, but there seem to continuing problems with the service, as the forum indicatess.

  1. Its back up now. We get most of our traffic from India and unfortunately for us, this happened during near peak hours – 6 in the evening. We use AWS for images, but the system defaults to our internal server when it fails. We had been thinking of doing away with the fail-over given how well AWS worked, but ofcourse, that wouldn’t happen anytime soon now

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  2. Some one check if Rackspace went down today or not. It appears that “downtime trouble” follows Twitter where ever they go!

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  3. @Adnan,

    That is funny. I am betting that TWitter people will not admit their own shortcomings and how badly their system is architected. It is always the hosting company which is to blame.

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  4. [...] A few days ago it was the RIM network that suddenly went down, cutting people off from their emails and other BlackBerry goodness (which some saw as a good thing rather than a catastrophe) — and this morning it was Amazon’s S3 network that suddenly went offline. The network provides cheap remote storage for dozens of Web startups, including Twitter, as well as some larger companies. What users of those services wound up with for several hours was a host of 404 and other errors. [...]

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  5. [...] Simple Storage Service S3 suffered a “massive” outage this morning, impacting a number of businesses that rely on the cloud-based storage service (must be a Fractus cloud-based service). Twitter, [...]

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  6. We’ve gotten so good at reducing adoption friction, that we’ll see a lot of this kind of thing. It just isn’t possible to plan for it.

    More on my blog:

    http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/google-reports-iphone-usage-50x-other-handsets-amazon-s3-goes-down-low-friction-has-a-cost/

    Best,

    BW

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  7. “…Amazon will do the needful.”

    Om, you did not just use that word…needful.

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  8. I use JungleDisk to backup my iPhoto library to Amazon S3 nightly. No data was lost ( on my end ) but I did notice that JungleDisk had to backup the entire iPhoto library and not just the new files.

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