Friday, April 29, 2011

Amazon Makes an Apology for Server Outage, Offers Credit as Compensation

Amazon Web has released an apology today for a data-center outage that brought down a bunch of major websites including Foursquare as well as Reddit. In addition to the apology, also offered customers of its Web services a 10-day credit.

Amazon isn't, however, disclosing how much the credit will be. Amazon Web Services accounts for only a small percentage of Amazon's total revenue. However ,the company does have high hopes for the business. The Web service rents out computer time by the hour.

The outage took place at a data center near Dulles Airport outside of Washington, D.C. and was a major stumble for Amazon's service. The company is still trying to restore some of the computers brought down in the incident which started eight days ago.

In a post-mortem report that was released today, Amazon, which is based out of Seattle, stated that human error set off the outage. An automated error-recovery mechanism then went out of control causing many computers to become stuck in recovery mode.

Amazon set up the service in a way to provide redundancy by letting computers in a different zone of availability take over if another one fails. Amazon stated that customers who were set up properly to run their computing tasks over multiple zones were largely unaffected, however, that error made it difficult to switch zones on a whim. It is, however, making changes to prevent that error from recurring.

The 10-day credit applies to each and every customer using the zone that went down, despite whether they were directly affected or not. Amazon has also not revealed exactly how many customers were affected.

Source: Associated Press - Amazon apologizes for server outage

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