Amazon Server Outage Blanks Popular Websites

Published April 21, 2011

| FoxNews.com

Major websites across the Internet were disabled or completely unavailable Thursday morning following server issues in an Amazon datacenter that hamstrung the company's web hosting service.

The glitch at Amazon's EC2 service, a function of its Web Services division, began at 1:41 a.m. PDT, according to the company's status dashboard, and has led to outages at such popular sites as Reddit, Quora, Foursquare, Motherboard.tv, Hootsuite and more. Service at some sites were restored, but many remain offline while Amazon races to resolve the unexplained outage.

Foursquare and Reddit offered apologies and explanations to users while awaiting resolution of the issue.

"Our usually amazing datacentre hosts, Amazon EC2, are having a few hiccups this morning," explained Foursquare, which has since resolved its issues with Amazon and brought its check-in service back online. Bookmarking site Reddit remains down, however, explaining in a banner atop its site that "Amazon is currently experiencing a degradation. They are working on it."

Amazon's Web Services Status dashboard lists the current status of Amazon's many server farms and data centers across the country; the site reveals continuing issues at its North Virginia data center, leading to connectivity issues, server delays, and outright outages. 

"We continue to work on restoring access to the affected Multi AZ instances and resolving the IO latency issues," explains a note posted to the status site at 6:29 a.m. PDT, where service to the Relational Database Service is experiencing performance outages. 

The company's Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia is still suffering outages, as of 7:40 AM PDT. 

The company did not reply to FoxNews.com requests for more information or status updates. 

According to a log of incidents published on the site, a router issue at the same North Virginia center caused connectivity issues on March 17 as well.

A list on its site offers a number of case studies showing how widely used Amazon's services are. The list includes dozens of customers, including Ericsson, the European Space Agency, the Guardian, Sorenson Media, and more.

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