Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information on how we use and manage cookies please take a look at our privacy and cookie policies. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

sections

Amazon traces cloud outage to faulty breaker

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Amazon Web Services has released details about the root cause of the outage of one of its public-cloud’s availability zones that started in the evening on 14 June and lasted until next morning, US Pacific time.

In a note posted on the cloud’s status dashboard, the company said the outage was caused by a cable fault in the power distribution system of the electric utility that served the data center hosting the US-East-1 region of the cloud in northern Virginia.

The entire facility was switched over to back-up generator power, but one of the generators overheated and powered off because of a defective cooling fan. The virtual-machine instances and virtual-storage volumes that were powered by this generator were transferred to a secondary back-up power system, provided by a separate power-distribution circuit that has its own backup generator capacity.

But, one of the breakers on this backup circuit was configured incorrectly and opened as soon as the load was transferred to the circuit. The breaker was set up to open at too low a power threshold.

“After this circuit breaker opened … the affected instances and volumes were left without primary, back-up, or secondary back-up power,” Amazon’s note read.

Customers in this availability zone that were running multi-availability-zone configurations “avoided meaningful disruption to their applications; however, those affected who were only running in this Availability Zone, had to wait until the power was restored to be fully functional.”

Among the customers affected with downtime were a number of popular web services, including Pinterest, Heroku, Quora, Foursquare and others, according to news reports. Heroku, for example, reported widespread outages of its production and development infrastructures that lasted for eight hours.

The faulty circuit breaker opened around 9pm, Amazon says, and the failed generator was restarted around 10:20pm. Most affected VM instances recovered by 10:50pm, and most cloud-storage volumes were “returned to customers” by about 1am.

Amazon said it had completed an audit of all of its back-up power distribution circuits and found another breaker that “needed corrective action.”

“We've now validated that all breakers worldwide are properly configured, and are incorporating these configuration checks into our regular testing and audit processes,” Amazon said.

Related images

  • Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.

Have your say

Please view our terms and conditions before submitting your comment.

required
required
required
required
required
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Webinars

  • Hybrid IT: Finding the right formula

    Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:00:00

    Within just 5 years, 70% of all IT infrastructures will shift from in-house to an outsourced managed infrastructure model.

  • A Revised Approach to Multi-Tenant Data Center Design, Build, Operations

    Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:30:00

    In today’s rapidly changing data center landscape, multi-tenant data center service providers are constantly advancing with the demands of the market.

  • The Industrialisation of Data Centers

    Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:00:00

    This webinar will present the technical background to modular approaches, the implications of implementation, and an assessment of the pros and cons. Intensive research has already been carried out, and a wide range of projects completed.

  • Thinking outside the pizza box: a sideways look at high-density Fiber Management

    Thu, 9 Oct 2014 15:00:00

    Connectivity specialists HUBER+SUHNER examine the evolution of Data Centers and challenge the traditional “pizza box” approach to fiber management by examining how alternative solutions can significantly reduce footprint, increase port density and lower operational costs.

  • EU Data Center Quarterly IT update for Q2 2014

    Thu, 2 Oct 2014 13:00:00

    In June this year DCD Intelligence (DCDi) in conjunction with IT Candor launched a new quarterly service to track the IT spending development and market shares within data centres in the European Union.

More link