Amazon US-East Cloud Goes Down
Amazon's Virginia data centers experienced four hours of degraded service on Sunday as a single physical device is blamed for the issue.Amazon Web Services (AWS) was hit with a service interruption on Sunday, Aug. 25, that caused four hours of degraded service for customers of its US-EAST data center availability zone and knocked a number of virtual machine instances offline. The degraded service was the result of an issue with a single networking device that failed. The first public acknowledgment from Amazon that there was some trouble with its cloud infrastructure came at 1:22 p.m. PDT on Sunday afternoon. "We are investigating degraded performance for some volumes in a single AZ in the US-EAST-1 Region," an Amazon AWS status update reported. The US-EAST-1 Region is a set of Amazon data centers located in Northern Virginia. Amazon refers to its data centers as "Availability Zones" (AZs). The purpose of the AZ concept is to have geographically disparate fault tolerance and stability on a global basis. Amazon currently operates eight AZs in total, including three in the Asia Pacific region, one in Western Europe, one in South America and three AZs in the United States. US-EAST-1 is the only Amazon AZ on the East Coast; the other two AZs are US-WEST-1 located in Northern California and US-WEST-2 located in Oregon.
As it turns out, although Amazon did not report any trouble via its status update feeds for US-EAST-1 until 1:22 p.m. PDT on Sunday, the issue actually started approximately 30 minutes earlier. Amazon did not provide full details on the incident until 3:23 p.m. PDT, at which point an AWS status update noted, "From approximately 12:51 PM PDT to 1:42 PM PDT network packet loss caused elevated EBS-related API error rates in a single AZ."