Amazon failure takes down sites across Internet

Apr 21, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer
In this screen shot of the fousquare.com website, an apology for technical difficulties is displayed. Dozens of major websites including Foursquare, Reddit and others crash or suffer severe slowdowns after technical problems wrack their hosting company, Amazon.com. (AP Photo/foursquare.com)

(AP) -- Scores of websites and Internet services like Foursquare and Reddit crashed or had limited availability Thursday because of problems at a data center run by Amazon.com.

The problems revealed widespread reliance on Amazon Web Services, which rents out computers and data storage on a self-service basis over the Internet.

AWS is generally considered reliable because it uses vast numbers of computers, spread out in different data centers, making Thursday's failure unusual.

Amazon said the trouble started early in the morning at a data center in Northern Virginia, but provide no details.

The problems were ongoing Thursday afternoon.

Foursquare, which lets people tell others where they are with the help of cellphone GPS chips, was still experiencing technical issues.

HootSuite, which provides a "dashboard" for social media like Twitter feeds, was down completely, as was questions-and-answers site Quora.

Reddit, a "social news" site owned by Conde Nast Digital, was in "emergency read-only mode."

Amazon.com Inc. is the leading provider of this type of "utility" computing, where customers pay only for the computing power and storage they need. Anyone with a credit card can begin using it. Competitors include Rackspace Hosting Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s Azure platform.

Seattle's Amazon has big plans for its Web Services. CEO Jeff Bezos said last year that it could eventually be as large as Amazon's retail business.

Explore further: Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WikiLeaks website kicked off Amazon's servers

Dec 01, 2010

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. forced WikiLeaks to stop using the U.S. company's computers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents, WikiLeaks said Wednesday.

Color Kindle 'multiple' years away: Amazon CEO

May 28, 2009

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said Thursday that the online retail giant may never reveal sales figures for the Kindle and a color version of the electronic reader is "multiple" years away.

Recommended for you

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

4 hours ago

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Yelp to pay US fine for child privacy violation

11 hours ago

Online ratings operator Yelp agreed to pay $450,000 to settle US charges that it illegally collected data on children, in violation of privacy laws, officials said Wednesday.

A Closer Look: Your (online) life after death

Sep 16, 2014

Sure, you have a lot to do today—laundry, bills, dinner—but it's never too early to start planning for your digital afterlife, the fate of your numerous online accounts once you shed this mortal coil.

Web filter lifts block on gay sites

Sep 16, 2014

A popular online safe-search filter is ending its practice of blocking links to mainstream gay and lesbian advocacy groups for users hoping to avoid obscene sites.

User comments : 0