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'Configuration Error' Blamed for AWS Outage

A "configuration error" caused this week's Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) outage, according to the company's Service Health Dashboard.

While AWS has been mostly mum on the issue -- which impacted popular sites such as GitHub and Heroku -- and hasn't yet responded to several media requests for clarification, the dashboard provides a running account of myriad problems.

One of those problems was an initial incorrect diagnosis of the issue, which affected the Amazon S3 storage service in the US-STANDARD region, or US-East, in the early morning hours of Monday.

"Amazon S3 experienced elevated error rates due to a configuration error in one of the systems that Amazon S3 uses to manage request traffic," AWS said in the dashboard. "We pursued the wrong root cause initially, which prompted us to try restorative actions that didn't solve the issue. Once we understood the real root cause, we resolved the issue relatively quickly and restored normal operations. During the time of the event, the elevated S3 API error rate led to impact on services that depend on Amazon S3 such as [Elastic MapReduce] EMR, which relies on S3 for object storage and EC2 which relies on S3 to store some [Amazon Machine Images] AMIs."

Here's the full series of dashboard notifications:

[RESOLVED] Elevated request errors in US-STANDARD
[Click on image for larger view.] [RESOLVED] Elevated Request Errors in US-STANDARD (source: AWS)

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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