Cloud Computing: Amazon Cloud Computing Outage Crashes Web 2.0 Sites

April 21, 2011 Updated: April 24, 2011

The Amazon cloud computing platform allows anyone, but mostly businesses with websites, to pay for data processing on Amazon’s computers. The outage, which started at around 1:40 a.m. PDT on Thursday, has been tracked back to connectivity and storage issues at one of Amazon’s data centers in northern Virginia.

As of 3 p.m. PDT, social media sites such as Quora and Reddit were still down, and Amazon said on its Web Services’ Service Health Dashboard that its EC2 service was still suffering from "instance connectivity, latency, and error rates."

The home page of social news site Reddit.com said that "Reddit is in ’emergency read-only mode’ right now because Amazon is experiencing a degradation. They are working on it but we are still waiting for them to get to our volumes."

According to CNN, Quora had posted on its site, "We’ll be back shortly, we hope. Sorry – it sucks for us too. We’d point fingers, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without EC2."

Website traffic monitoring site Chartbeat also went down due to the Amazon crash. "We are still recovering from the ongoing issues with Amazon AWS and some historical data might be missing. We apologize. We will update this message and our official twitter account with status updates," the site stated.

The major glitch has yet to be fully resolved as of late Thursday afternoon. According to PC World, Amazon said it is "starting to see progress on these efforts, but are not there yet. We will continue to provide updates when we have them."