Amazon Cloud Crashes, Takes Part Of Web Offline

Tyler Durden's picture

Curious why there are those with an online business, who believe that handing over their entire back office infrastructure to one company, aka "going cloud" may not be the wisest of ideas. Just ask all those websites that use Amazon's cloud service today, who suddenly went dark when the Amazon cloud crashed.

From the NYT:

Amazon’s data centers in Northern Virginia crashed Monday afternoon, taking with it a number of popular Web sites, from Someecards, the quirky e-card company, to mobile applications like Flipboard and Foursquare.


Amazon reported having problems with the data centers in Northern Virginia. Those problems appear to have had a ripple effect across the Internet with several sites hosted on Amazon’s popular EC2 cloud hosting service also reporting problems.


Several frustrated customers took to Twitter Monday to complain that they could not get access to Web sites including Foursquare, and Flipboard. It appears that some of the affected services then affected services that, in turn, ran on them. Because they are all hosted on Amazon’s cloud service, there is a ripple effect. They all go down when the original hosting servers go down.


Last June, an electrical storm caused problems at the same Northern Virginia data centers and took down sites including Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram for a weekend.


“Like many other services, we’ve been taken down by the outage,” said Erin Gleason, a spokeswoman for Foursquare, the mobile check-in service. “Both the site and the app are inaccessible right now.”


Ms. Gleason said the company was still awaiting guidance and updates from Amazon about when its service might be restored.


“Hoping to get things back up and running ASAP,” she said.

And just like HFT has taken the entire market hostage, in the most insidiuous Stockholm Syndrome symbiotic relationship, so the cloud will do that same to the internet, in some cases with insidious crossover: recall that various stock exchanges are already using the cloud to host their services. Basically what will end up happening is that one day the mega-uber-cloud will crash, and the entire internet will be down.

Hopefully not on demand.

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GolfHatesMe's picture

HAARP loves clouds!

redpill's picture

Just wait for the Russia-sponsored EMP party, it's gonna be a blast...

NotApplicable's picture

But I was told that clouds don't exist in any one place, so it's physically impossible for them to crash.

I've even got it written on a shiny postcard!

ZerOhead's picture

And just where were the Iranians?

CvlDobd's picture

Coming to a bank server near you!

icanhasbailout's picture

I've been warning about this kind of thing from the moment I first heard the "cloud" buzzword - I was like, you have to be kidding me, this is the dumbest Internet marketing fad yet.

Optimusprime's picture

But Reggie Middleton loves the cloud!

Muppet of the Universe's picture

EH!  All you FUCKIN HIPPIES!  Stop hating on your machine overloads ;D


For serial though.  HFT facilities are well protected.  Quite literally, keeping their servers well protected from emps, power outages, hacking, and server glitches, is financially demanded.  If something were to go wrong... They could experience a "knight capital" type moment.  It's literally one of their top priorities.  Thus, the "free market", keeps roaring on.  LOLOLOL... 

On another note, should an extremely large high scale X-class flare pop outta the sun...  Well there's warning time, but the bots might have to be shut down hours before impact, or risk getting fried.  Hell, I imagine one day the earth could experience a solar phenomenon so large that trading is actually halted for a day until the CME passes.

Mr. Lucky's picture

The 1859 Carrington Event caused major problems with the telegraphs for a day or two.  The same event happening today would cause quite a few problems that will not be easily fixed.

Darth..Putter's picture

God forbid I might have to write a reciept by hand, or read a book for entertainment.'s picture

You'll be able to read by the glow of the melting nuclear plants.

localsavage's picture

Dear Cloud Subscriber,  Thank you for your request to recover damages caused by our negligence but if you have your attorneys check section of the user agreement, they will see clearly that you have released us from any such damages past, present or future.  Thank you and have a nice day.

Overfed's picture

If only it would come the bank that holds my mortgage....

Jubilee! :-)

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ NotA  + 1

That's why I keep my database on two computers and five flash drives...  Backed up, bitchez!

Marley's picture

Keep at least one of your flash drives in an antistatic bag.

RockyRacoon's picture

This explains why Bitcoin will bust, credit card use will tank, and getting a ZH fix will cause me to pull out the few hairs I have left.   Keep cash on hand!   When the electronic payment methods crash I can still buy my necessities by the pallet-load at Sam's for the hide-away.

viahj's picture

when the digital money system crashes, you can have all the cash in the world....but good luck getting to Sam's and purchasing stuff.  i'm pretty sure that Sam's doesn't use cash to purchase stuff to fill their wharehouses.  better do it now.

fonestar's picture

Microsoft and others have been trying to push "the cloud" for a very long time.  My personal opinion is that it's an attempt to turn the whole internet (including content) into a subscription service and "the cloud" is a buzz term for managers not in the know.  IPV6 will be the real game-changer and not "the cloud".

Urban Redneck's picture

The "cloud" used to be called a MAINFRAME and iCrap used to be called DUMB TERMINALS.

the rest is just marketing...


cxl9's picture

A cogent analysis. In the Old Days, there was a big mainframe in the basement. Users interfaced with the mainframe using dumb terminals ("green screens"). Then Microsoft, Sun, and the Internet came along and convinced everyone that "the network is the computer". All the processing power was pushed out to the desktop. Businesses spent billions of dollars putting PCs on every desk and filling rooms with servers. Head fake! Now the IT industry has convinced business they need to get rid of the PC desktop and replace their servers with large, powerful hosts running dozens of virtual servers (exactly like the, um, big mainframes running LPARs back in the day) and give the users "thin clients". The old model has merely been repackaged as "the Cloud". After business is done spending billions of dollars virtualizing everything or sticking it in the cloud, IT will figure out a way to convince them they need to pull it all back, and we'll start over again. The endless systole and diastole of the IT industry's perpetual scam.

disabledvet's picture

really? you know how much REDUNDANCY is built into internet based communication systems? THE THING WAS DESIGNED TO WITHSTAND A NUCLEAR ATTACK you bozo. Sure...on the FOR PROFIT side this is kick in the nads. But the internet itself is actually TOO robust. Just ask President What's His Name from Egypt. That guy got Mega-downloaded man.

BurningFuld's picture

Steve does not like it. That is all you need to know!


During an on-stage discussion with Apple (AAPL) critic Mike Daisey, the Cupertino-based company’s co-founder Steve Wozniak expressed major concerns about the future of computing and the shift to the cloud, Agence France-Presse reported. “I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years,” Wozniak said, adding that “with the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away” through the terms of service all cloud computing users must agree to.

tyrone's picture

Yeah, and just wait for the day that all your cloudia shit is unplugged, and you get a notice from your provider that for the sum of $XXxx, they will be happy to turn it back on. Payable in gold.

Acet's picture

The Internet was designed to withstand a nuclear attack ... but it was never designed to guarantee that the subnetwork were your company's main trading server is in will remain connected to it or even up, nor will it guarantee that even if it does stay connected the speed with which it can be accessed is acceptable.

More in general, we've been busy undermining that high-resilience architecture for the last 2 decades, be it through things like main-trunks and level 1 providers (there are a couple of submarine cables out there that if they go, some places will be disconnected or back to dialup speeds), through application level architectures which are far less resilient (cloud computing being one of those, since it centralises a decentralised system) or purelly through ever increasing amounts of data traffic which have made a couple of routes and nodes mission-critical (sure, they can go down - as long as you're willing to go back to no video and taking 4 minutes to load a web page). Even something as old (by now) as the concept of a single server with a web address is not redundant without some special trickery (with hardware load-balancers and DNS servers, if you're curious).


malikai's picture

Proper virtualization, ala containers is very much a pullback to the IBM360 days, only now you can put a whole OS and application set inside that timeslot.

But virtualization alone is not "the cloud" because "the cloud" doesn't exist outside of the minds of idiot marketing hypetypes and their sucker clientelle (management).

dark pools of soros's picture

"But virtualization alone is not "the cloud" because "the cloud" doesn't exist outside of the minds of idiot marketing hypetypes and their sucker clientelle (management)."

Welcome to the 'Brochure Management' era where middle managers get spooked on the first page, and then buy whatever the happy faces are next to on the second.. and then get mad when their engineers smirk at them for being a total noob



zeek's picture

Cloud + Govt = Easy spying on your own citizenry



Automated personality profiling based on music library

Automated warrants based on facial recognition against your personal photos


MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Nailed it...

Who needs a fucking warrant or anything else to get at your shit when it already is already stored and maintained on the equipment of a third party who is more than happy to hand it over for a few dollars.

Try and find a way to sync your phone and your Outlook (for example) via a direct connection (i.e. a cable). 

No longer possible -- why?  Because someone(s) benefit greatly when your entire address book has to go through their servers on its way back and forth between your phone and desktop and whatever other devices you have.

Sure it is more convenient this way, but you really don't have too much choice.

If energy gets really scarce (real or imposed) propaganda about the cloud will get even louder.  Wait for it...

northerngirl's picture

LOL!  Russia would never do anything to harm the US. (Sac)

LaLiLuLeLo's picture

the housewives of DC went shopping all at once; so where's Penetta telling us we need to guard against extreme online consumerism!?!?! The horror

SamAdams1234's picture


Must be the Iranian cyber terrorists...... lets go to war...


The Wizard of Oz's picture


Jena's picture

If you don't hold it physically, you don't have it.  Right, ZHers?

Pure Evil's picture

Nope! I'm not holding "it" right now, and yes, physically it's still down there.


SoCalBusted's picture

How many nines of uptime does this put them at now? 3?

CPL's picture

"Sir have you checked your SLA on the service guarentees and no responsibility on data loss (section 16.5) failure responsibility of the client...(section 23.3)"


There be a shit storm brewin.

Joe Davola's picture

Either they haven't tested their failover or there is no backup plan.  I'll go out on a limb and choose #B.

CPL's picture

Even tried restoring 1/4 of the web from tape back up?


Elbow gets tired.

pods's picture

Can someone please shoot me, I see the Big O's wife every time I load a page.


Thecomingcollapse's picture

Do Not Track Plus... It's free and it's great..... Here

OpenEyes's picture

I have to admit, I do miss the "Meh" girl ad


OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Maybe she's having the big "O"

The Story of "O"

Not a pretty picture, Chewbacca shiverin' and shakin'...

GolfHatesMe's picture

To the Cloud!  - Taco MacArthur

BLOTTO's picture

I would love for the internet to come crashing to the ground.


Ironically, then we would become a 'social network' again.


RockyRacoon's picture

Yeah, like the good ole days when we only had candlelight after dark.  When a gust of wind came thru and blew out our candles we'd all go out on the front porch to check on the neighbors to see if their candles had blown out too.

CPL's picture

That is awesome.  lol

krispkritter's picture

I kept fireflies in a jar for Disaster Recovery purposes...

debtor of last resort's picture

Thanks ZH, for revealing scam after scam after scam. Again and again and again. Unbelievable.