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Alexa muted, Twilio taps out, and Bitbucket kicks the, er, bucket amid AWS data center hiccup

Ah, the stable and reliable cloud

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco

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Problems at an Amazon Web Service data center in Virginia today are being blamed for outages affecting some major websites and online services today.

Amazon said its highly popular US-East region has been dropping packets all morning, US West Coast time, thanks to an unidentified connectivity problem with Direct Connect. That's the system that connects Amazon's data centers to non-Amazon server warehouses and premises. AWS said its engineers are working on the problem, but gave no estimate when service might return.

"We continue to work towards resolving the increased packet loss impacting AWS Direct Connect connectivity to the US-EAST-1 Region. Direct Connect connections from the Equinix DC1 - DC6 & DC10 - DC12, Ashburn, VA and CoreSite VA1 & VA2, Reston, VA locations are affected by this issue," Amazon said on its status page.

Here's the full text from Amazon's status page:

7:29 AM PST We are investigating increased packet loss possibly impacting some AWS Direct Connect customers in the US-EAST-1 Region.

8:03 AM PST We continue to work towards resolving the increased packet loss impacting AWS Direct Connect connectivity to the US-EAST-1 Region. Direct Connect connections from the Equinix DC1 - DC6 & DC10 - DC12, Ashburn, VA and CoreSite VA1 & VA2, Reston, VA locations are affected by this issue.

9:43 AM PST Connections in the CoreSite VA1 & VA2 (Reston, VA) location, and some connections in the Equinix DC1 - DC6 & DC10 - DC12 (Ashburn, VA) location are inactive. Inactive connections are not receiving routes advertised from Direct Connect routers. We are now working to restore service on these Direct Connect connections. The AWS VPN service is operating normally and may be an alternative for some workloads.

The cockup has knocked a number of internet services offline, including Amazon's own Alexa virtual assistant. Others reportedly knackered by the issue include bank Capital One, comms service Twilio, and developer hub BitBucket, which has happily confirmed that the Bezos Bunch's wonky data center is at fault.

At least users are taking the outage in stride:

No word yet on when service will be restored. We've asked Amazon for comment on any possible cause for the issue, particularly if it was at all connected to the recent wave of memcache DDoS attacks. ®

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