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Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You Again

 In Cloud Updates, Featured Article

On February 28th, 2017, several companies reported Amazon AWS S3 Cloud Storage Outage. Within minutes, hundreds and thousands of Twitter posts started making rounds across the globe sharing their experiences how their apps went down due to this outage.

 

Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You Again

Image Source: https://twitter.com/TechCrunch

 

The issue that kicked off around 9:44 Pacific Time (17:44 UTC) on 28th Feb 2017, was reported primarily due to an error in simple storage buckets hosted in the us-east-1 region (as tweeted by AWS).

 

Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You Again

Image Source: https://twitter.com/awscloud?lang=en

 

This AWS S3 outage led to major websites and services, such as Medium, Docker Registry Hub, Asana, Quora, Runkeeper, Trello, Yahoo Mail, etc. falling offline, losing images, or left running haphazardly.

According to sources, this AWS S3 outage disrupted half the internet. Because, Amazon S3 is used by approximately 148,213 websites, and 121,761 unique domains, according to SimilarTech.  

Even though AWS fixed it after juggling for several hours, its impact was huge.

 

Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You AgainImage Source: https://status.aws.amazon.com/

What caused it?

According to Nick Kephart, senior director of product marketing for San Francisco-based network intelligence company ThousandEyes, who monitored this situation closely said that during the outage information could get into Amazon’s overall network, but attempting to establish a network connection with the S3 servers was not possible. Due to this, all traffic was dead in its tracks. Hence, all the sites and apps that hosted data, images, or other information on S3 were affected.

As a company, how could you avoid this situation or fool-proof your system against such outages in the future? Here’s how:

Use Region Level DR Rather Than AZ Level DR

People who did not go for Region level DR and opted for AZ level DR in their session were affected. When you opt for Region level DR, you will have to copy data from one S3 Region to another S3 Region and sync that S3 data between Regions. This helps with availability of a backup, hence helping you cope with such outages in future.  

Opt for Cross-Region Replication

Cross region replication helps to make it easier for you to make copies of your AMIs/snapshots to another in a second AWS region so that you can always keep a system running in another region. Or, so to say, run the stand-by environment in another region.

Go for the AWS CloudFormation Template

Use CloudFormation template to create a cluster in another region, so that you don’t have to wait for a longer duration to spring back to normal. It will not take more than 2 hours for you to bring the cluster and whole environment back on track with CloudFormation.

Bottom line: No Technology is Perfect

All technologies might fail at some point. A Plan B in place is the best way forward.

Even though large swaths of the internet went down due to this Amazon AWS S3 Cloud Storage Outage, several sites and apps were not affected by it. Reason:  They had their data spread across multiple regions.

If you know of any other way to mitigate such outages, do share it with us in the comment section below or tweet us @BotmetricHQ.

Editor

Editor

Content Manager at Botmetric
Jayashree Hegde is a linguaphile, a bibliophile, and a travelphile, passionate about technology, writing, and humanities. While at work, she manages content for Botmetric and Minjar. During free time, she loves to write creative non-fiction short stories.
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Showing 6 comments
  • lyyrdxhecx@gmail.com
    Reply

    Exceptionally well written!

    • Editor
      Reply

      Hi there. Glad you liked it. If you need any info on AWS cloud management, do get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.

  • dkipck@gmail.com
    Reply

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    • Editor
      Reply

      Hi there! Glad you liked the blog. And thank you for the kind words. Hope your roommate too likes it!

  • tjduox@gmail.com
    Reply

    Excellent article. I am facing a few of these issues as well..

    • Editor
      Reply

      Hi there! Glad you liked the blog. What issues are you facing in AWS S3?

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