AWS EC2 falls over in Sydney for six hours, stormy weather blamed

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) took a hit in its Sydney region for six hours over the weekend, according to official status updates, with stormy weather being blamed as the source of the problem.

The alarm was first raised on June 4 at 2247 PDT – or 1547 on June 5 Sydney time – with AWS announcing it was investigating increased connectivity issues for EC2 instances in the AP-SOUTHEAST-2 region. An hour later, a “power event” was cited as the culprit, with power restored 45 minutes after that and periodic updates appearing until a message at 0443 PDT on June 5, saying the majority of the instances had been fixed. The issues hit various AWS services, including ElastiCache, CloudFormation and Database Migration Service.

“On June 4th at 10:25 PM PDT a significant number of EC2 instances and EBS volumes within a single availability zone in the AP-SOUTHEAST-2 region experienced a loss of power,” AWS confirmed, adding: “A couple of unexpected issues prevented our automated systems from recovering the remaining instances and volumes.

“The team was able to fix these issues, and by 8:00 AM PDT, all but a small number of instances and volumes were recovered.”

AWS currently employs five regions in Asia Pacific, with 12 availability zones available overall. Three of these exist in Australia, all of which are in Sydney. Some customers on Twitter were bemoaning this relative lack of coverage across Australia; Microsoft, in comparison, has only two Azure zones in the country but in New South Wales and Victoria respectively.

Australia, in comparison to the majority of Asia Pacific nations, has a relatively good infrastructure; the country placed fourth in the most recent analysis from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), with strong economic stability, physical infrastructure and international connectivity.

Last month AWS released X1 instances for its EC2 cloud, claiming to have the most memory available in any SAP-certified cloud instance available today. But all that memory won’t get you very far if the system has fallen over.

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