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Amazon Disruption Produces Cloud Outage Spiral
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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
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10/2/2015 | 6:14:11 PM
Amazon's public statement on the disruption
Amazon produced a public statement on the outage but I did not receive it in time to include in this story. It was: Between 2:13 AM and 7:10 AM PDT on September 20, 2015, Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced significant error rates with read and write operations for the Amazon DynamoDB service in the US-East Region, which impacted some other AWS services in that region, and caused some AWS customers to experience elevated error rates.  

 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
9/22/2015 | 6:05:54 PM
Cloud processes designed to protect your system may eat it alive
"Many of us are customers of Amazon without knowing it." Good point, Tom. The cloud providers still don't know how to get a circuit breaker into an automated process gone awry. Amazon's Easter weekend shutdown four years ago was triggered by human error, when an operations person unplugged a trunk network, then replugged it into a backup network. That made all the data sets visible on that trunk line disappear, which triggered a "remirroring storm" as the cloud software tried to make up for the lost data by creating new sets. While that was going on, everything else pretty much ground to a halt--for 2-3 days.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
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9/22/2015 | 4:55:22 PM
Re: Cloud shutdown as an automated process
One company affected by the AWS issues was Scout Alarm. This apparently limited the ability of customers to arm and disarm their alarm systems. As we become more dependent on cloud services, let hope Amazon improves reliability. Many of us are AWS customers without knowing it.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
9/22/2015 | 4:34:44 PM
Cloud shutdown as an automated process
On Feb. 29, 2012, an expiration date for security certificates that didn't recognize a a leap year caused one virtual machine after another to fail upon its attempted start. Three failed starts in a row caused a host in Microsoft's Azure cloud to conclude that hardware was failing, when it wasn't, and move the faulty virtual machine to another server, where the error could repeat itself. In this manner does cloud software bring down the cloud as an unexpected automated process.   


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