Amazon EC2 Cloud crashes

Amazon Web Services

Rumours of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud hosting service (EC2) going down today turned out to be true when Reddit, Foursquare, Quora and Hootsuite all went with it. Amazon's Relational Database Service was also affected.

The Virginia based EC2 appears to have started hiccupping around 1.48am PDT, which is around 9am UK time. Foursquare, Quora and Reddit all posted messages on their sites explaining the cause of their downtime, whilst Amazon posted continual status updates:

1:48 AM PDT We are currently investigating connectivity and latency issues with RDS database instances in the US-EAST-1 region.

2:16 AM PDT We can confirm connectivity issues impacting RDS database instances across multiple availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region.

3:05 AM PDT We are continuing to see connectivity issues impacting some RDS database instances in multiple availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region. Some Multi AZ failovers are taking longer than expected. We continue to work towards resolution.

4:03 AM PDT We are making progress on failovers for Multi AZ instances and restore access to them. This event is also impacting RDS instance creation times in a single Availability Zone. We continue to work towards the resolution."

Hootsuite apparently became a casualty as trending topics showed numerous users venting their frustration on Twitter.

Quora took a fairly relaxed attitude to the situation saying on their site: "We'll be back shortly, we hope. Sorry, it sucks for us too. We'd point fingers, but we wouldn't be where we are today without EC2."

The effect on these particularly popular online services might be considered something of a rude awakening and is more than a little embarrassing for Amazon to say the least.

At a time when cloud services are drawing increased attention from businesses and private users alike, users will be keeping a close eye on the impact of this downtime.