Feeds

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

Post mortem wait

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.