Feeds

Lightning strikes Amazon cloud (honest)

The dangers of sky-high computing

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Amazon's cloud was struck by lightning earlier this week. And that's the truth.

On Wednesday evening at about 6:30pm Pacific time, some Amazon cloud sitters saw their floating servers disappear - and yes, the company blamed the temporary outage on a lightning strike.

According to a web post from the company, the strike zapped a power distribution unit in one of its data centers, taking out server instances in one - and only one - Availability Zone. Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) serves up on-demand processing power from two separate geographic locations - the US and Europe - and each geographic region is split into multiple zones designed never to vanish at the same time.

"A lightning storm caused damage to a single Power Distribution Unit (PDU) in a single Availability Zone," the company said in a web post at 7:33pm. "While most instances were unaffected, a set of racks does not currently have power, so the instances on those racks are down."

At 9:26, Amazon said power had been restored and the affected server instances were beginning to recover. By 1:20am, the company said the problem had been fully resolved.

While Amazon was correcting the problem, it told customers they had the option of launching new server instances to replace those that went down. But customers were also able to wait for their original instances to come back up after power was restored to the hardware in question.

This was a relatively minor issue compared to the two major outages Amazon's cloud suffered in October 2007 and February 2008. And it's nowhere near as amusing as the time an engineer accidentally deleted Flexiscale's infrastructure cloud. Well, not nearly as amusing except for the lightning bit. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.