An Amazon data center in Ashburn, Virginia suffered a power outage at 9:45 p.m. PDT on Thursday, causing some websites using AWS cloud technology to go offline.
High-profile websites like Heroku, Pinterest, Quora and HootSuite saw downtime, as well as many smaller sites.
Amazon resolved the issue within a few hours, which affected some customers in the US-East-1 Region, and regularly updated customers on the situation via the AWS status page.
The situation began at around 9:45 PDT, where shortly after the following message appeared on the Amazon status page in regards to Amazon ElastiCache in Northern Virginia:
“Some Cache Clusters in a single AZ in the US-EAST-1 region are currently unavailable. We are also experiencing increased error rates and latencies for the ElastiCache APIs in the US-EAST-1 Region. We are investigating the issue.”
While Amazon confirmed the outage on its Service Health Dashboard, it did specify the cause of the power outage.
The outage was the third significant downtime Amazon has experienced in the past 14 months for the US-East-1 region, following outages in April 2011 and March 2012. US-East-1 region is Amazon’s oldest availability zone, which resides in a data center in Ashburn, Virginia.
Although Amazon has multiple avalability zones, approximately 70 percent of AWS customers are concentrated in the US East region.
As always, angry Internet users flocked to social networking sites like Twitter where they criticized major website for not distributing their infrastructure across multiple Amazon availability zones.
Talk back: How does your cloud computing provider deal with outages? Do you use your health dashboard to update customers to incidents like outages as they happen? What do you think of the latest EC2 outage? Let us know in the comment section.