Amazon Cloud Failure Affects Multiple Web Sites Tuesday

Amazon Web Services, the world’s largest provider of internet-based computing services, experienced an unspecified breakdown and outage in its eastern U.S. region starting midday Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The outage caused unprecedented and widespread performance failures and delays for thousands of websites and apps. The outage affected both “front-end” operations and back-end data processing.

Most of the problems caused delays, but not total failure. websites and apps that were affected use Amazon’s “simple storage service,” known as S3. Amazon services began returning around 3:00 p.m. CST, and at 4:00 p.m. the company noted on its S3 service site that S3 was fully recovered and “operating normally.”

Arlingtoncardinal.com presented delays of page loading of about 20 to 30 seconds because of the outage starting about 11:20 a.m. The cause of the delays were isolated within about 30 minutes after the delays were detected. The Arlingtoncardinal.com delays were caused by code that uses Amazon S3 that shows a cookie notice required by the European Commission since 2012.

The annoying notice is often displayed the first time a user views a website. A viewer clicks to confirm or acknowledge the notice, and then it is no longer displayed.

A new notice service was activated that doesn’t use S3 or any other cloud service, so users of Arlingtoncardinal.com probably noticed a new European Commission-required notice displayed.

Amazon’s problems began when one S3 region based in Virginia began to experience what the company called “increased error rates.” In a statement, Amazon said as of 3 p.m. CST it was still experiencing errors that were “impacting various AWS services.”

“We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue,” the company said.

Amazon S3 stores files and data for companies on remote servers. Amazon started offering the cloud storage service in 2006. The service is used to host complete websites, store images (SmugMug), and to manage customer data and customer transactions for third party business. Amazon reports that S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure that Amazon.com uses to run its own global e-commerce network and online store.

Amazon S3 Protection

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is object storage with a simple web service interface to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web. It is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability, and scale past trillions of objects worldwide.

Customers use Amazon S3 as primary storage for cloud-native applications; as a bulk repository, or “data lake,” for analytics; as a target for backup & recovery and disaster recovery; and with serverless computing.

It’s simple to move large volumes of data into or out of Amazon S3 with Amazon’s cloud data migration options. Once data is stored in S3, it can be automatically tiered into lower cost, longer-term cloud storage classes like S3 Standard – Infrequent Access and Amazon Glacier for archiving.

— amazon web services

Amazon S3 reported it stores more than 2 trillion objects as of April 2013. S3 is designed to provide 99.999999999% durability and 99.99% availability of objects over a given year.




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