AWS says a typo caused the massive S3 failure this week
From InfoWorld: Everyone makes mistakes. But working at Amazon Web Services means an incorrectly entered input can lead to a massive outage that cripples popular websites and services. That’s apparently what happened earlier this week, when the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) in the provider’s Northern Virginia region experienced an 11-hour system failure.
Other Amazon services in the US-EAST-1 region that rely on S3, like Elastic Block Store, Lambda, and the new instance launch for the Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service offering were all impacted by the outage.
AWS apologized for the incident in a postmortem released Thursday. The outage affected the likes of Netflix, Reddit, Adobe, and Imgur. More than half of the top 100 online retail sites experienced slower load times during the outage, website monitoring service Apica said.
Here’s what set off the outage, and what Amazon plans to do:
According to Amazon, an authorized S3 employee executed a command that was supposed to “remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process,” in response to the service’s billing process working more slowly than anticipated. One of the parameters for the command was entered incorrectly and took down a large number of servers that support a pair of critical S3 subsystems.
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