The cloud is supposed to be an elastic environment that scales to meet whatever demands are placed on it. For Amazon’s EC2 cloud service this week, elasticity wasn’t enough to prevent a network outage that lasted several hours.
Among the sites affected by the Amazon outage was the popular reddit social new sharing and networking site.
As to what triggered the outage, a post to the AWS dashboard by Amazon blamed the problem on a network error that caused a lot of unexpected storage mirroring.
“A networking event early this morning triggered a large amount of re-mirroring of EBS [Extended Block Store] volumes … This re-mirroring created a shortage of capacity … which impacted new EBS volume creation as well as the pace with which we could re-mirror and recover affected EBS volumes,” the report said.