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Amazon S3 Suffers Outage

Web services giant is still working out what went wrong on Sunday

Amazons S3 service suffered another outage this weekend, highlighting the risks inherent in cloud storage services.

The S3 service interruption started at approximately 8.40 AM PDT yesterday, according to Amazon, affecting customers in both the U.S. and Europe. "S3 for our customers in the European Union was operating normally by approximately 3 PM PDT," explained an Amazon spokeswoman in an email to Byte and Switch earlier today. "[The] U.S. began to recover at approximately 4 PM PDT and was operating normally by 5 PM PDT."

Still, that’s not an insignificant period of time for the S3 service to be interrupted, and it follows an outage earlier this year, which initially stirred up concerns about service reliability.

Specific details about what happened this weekend have not yet been released, although the Amazon spokeswoman offered the following explanation via email:

"As a distributed system, the different components of S3 need to be aware of the state of each other. For example, this awareness makes it possible for the system to decide which redundant physical storage server to route a request to."

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