Amazon S3 Outage (Now Back)

Well I returned to check my giant photos upload that JungleDisk was sending to my Amazon S3 account and it had stopped.

The log showed a whole pile of HTTP error codes which any self-respecting technophile will realise means a serious fault is occurring. The S3 forums document the first errors from 0858PDT although JungleDisk for me reported errors from 1642BST.

There are a few big customers impacted like the photo sharing web site SmugMug who’s displaying an outage page right now and also blogging about the incident. The Amazon Status page does at least confirm what we already know – they’re down and painfully aware of it. Smugmug’s blog says it’s “only” their 3rd outage in over two years which is to be expected. Other major brands will include several Facebook apps loading slowly or displaying errors.

Still, this will hit mainstream press and give cloud computing negative publicity. Hopefully Amazon will learn from this early experiences and continue on the road to virtually bullet-proof hosting. Not many organisations are large enough to put in the resources necessary to build such a robust service and put their brand name against it.

Incidentally, if you have an S3 account, please check their SLA for the procedure to obtain a partial refund…

Updated 2225BST: has broken images due to this, as does Twitter. Amazon report progress toward full restoration of service with internal network communications slowly coming to life.

Updated 2249BST: Amazon are bringing up their S3 web interfaces. Sites and services (like my Jungle Disk backup) should be back up soon. I look forward to their statement on what happened and how they will prevent recurrence.

Updated 2226BST: Amazon S3 EU is back… S3 USA taking a little longer due to larger size.

Updated 0017BST: It’s now Monday and Amazon S3 USA is online once more. Big, big outage.


5 Responses

  1. […] 20, 2008 So there have been plenty of web sites and services affected by today’s big Amazon S3 outage. Smugmug, Twitter, and JungleDisk amongst the casualties to various degrees. […]

  2. […] Broken Images & Amazon S3 outage Read more at Broken Images « Forums and Amazon S3 Outage. What it means is that there may be a problem with images on this and other blogs for a little […]

  3. […] July 21, 2008 — ninglun Read more at Broken Images « Forums and Amazon S3 Outage. What it means is that there may be a problem with images on this and other blogs for a little […]

  4. So, it’s happened again and this time there is no acknowledgment from anyone. SmugMug images are not available–Auctiva has failed to post anything so far and images went down 2 hours ago. I also visit Amazon dashboard only to read that everything is operating properly. Sorry to say, but image hosting has failed yet again, for the second day in a row. Amazon has failed, Auctiva has failed all of us who are dependent on this service that is so vital to the operation of our businesses.

  5. When I first started using S3 I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. Within 24 hours, I had my entire web imaging system (heavy user contribution) using s3. However, I wish amazon’s .NET methods had included some setup in web.config that would have specified a local cache folder should their service ever go down.

    I’m programming this myself now, and using a getFileLink() method around any s3 hosted file. It checks s3 status every 5 minutes. If s3 is down, it uses the local cache for the next 5 minutes.

    Essentially, it adds our own local servers to the ‘cloud’. I’m surprised s3 didn’t provide this feature in the first place.

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