updated 09:13 pm EDT, Sat June 30, 2012
Storms in North Virginia takes out Amazon data center
Netflix, Instagram, and other web services were hit by an Amazon Web Services outage. Historic thunderstorms in Northern Virginia caused power outages for Amazon data center in the region, forcing services depending on EC2 from it to be severely affected, with Netflix in particular suffering considerable amounts of downtime.
At the time of writing, the Amazon Web Services status page shows the power issues for its Elastic Compute Cloud as Resolved after lasting for 20 hours. Amazon CloudSearch, Elastic Beanstalk, and Relational Database Services in Northern Virginia were also affected, forcing the same services offered in other data centers around the world to pick up the extra work.
Power providers to the area warn of sporadic outages in the vicinity of the server farm over the next several days, as power is gradually restored to the nearly 500,000 who lost it during the storm. Full restoration of the power grid in the area could take upwards of a week.
MacNN has spoken with an electrician that works with the service. An electrical breaker with a safety interlock fused shut during the storm. This breaker being stuck prevented the diesel generator's breaker from closing, as only one of the breakers can be shut at any given time, so no backup power was available to the AWS service.
Amazon suffered a similar outage in August last year, again affecting the Northern Virginia data center. More services were affected at that point, which caused Foursquare, Reddit and Quora to work on spreading their services across multiple locations and have a more robust backup-plan for data center failures. [via TechCrunch]