Feeds

Amazon: Some data won't be recovered after cloud outage

Post mortem wait

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Amazon says that about 0.07 per cent of the EBS storage volumes in the East Region of its infrastructure cloud are not "fully recoverable" following the extended outage that hit the service last Thursday.

The company has yet to fully explain the cause of the outage, but it still plans to publish a "post mortem" on the incident. "We are digging deeply into the root causes of this event," the company says in a post to its Amazon Web Services status dashboard.

In the early hours Pacific time on Thursday, Amazon said on its status page that it was investigating connectivity issues with its EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service, which provides on-demand access to processing power via the web. The outage brought down many websites that run atop the service, including Quora, Sencha, Reddit, and FourSquare. According to one of the brief status messages from Amazon, the problem began with a "network event" that caused the service to re-mirror a large number of Elastic Block Store volumes in its East Region.

Amazon divides its "infrastructure cloud" into multiple geographic regions, and it guarantees 99.95 per cent availability within each region if you're using multiple "availability zones". Some regions – including the East Region, served up from Northern Virginia – are divided into these ostensibly separate zones, and Amazon has always said that these zones are "insulated" from each other's failures. But the East Region outage spread across multiple zones.

On Sunday, the company said that a "majority" of affected EBS volumes had been restored, but that it needed more time to restore data for some customers. But on Monday, it announced that some volumes would not be restored. "We have completed our remaining recovery efforts and though we've recovered nearly all of the stuck volumes, we've determined that a small number of volumes (0.07% of the volumes in our US-East Region) will not be fully recoverable," the company said.

It is in the process of contacting these customers.

For many – including Thorsten von Eicken, CTO of RightScale, an EC2 management service, and the employees of Scalr, an open source platform similar to RightScale – one of the chief problem is that Amazon has so far provided so little information about the outage. We await the post mortem with bated breath. Amazon has never said how its "availability zones" are designed. ®

Update: This story been updated to provide more detail on Amazon's uptime guarantee for EC2.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
No biggie: EMC's XtremIO firmware upgrade 'will wipe data'
But it'll have no impact and will be seamless, we're told
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.