Amazon apologizes for server outage, offers credit

April 29, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Inc. apologized Friday for a data-center outage that brought down major websites including Foursquare and Reddit and offered Web services customers a 10-day credit.

The company isn't disclosing how much the credit will cost it. Amazon Web Services accounts for only a few percent of Amazon's total revenue, but the company has high hopes for the business. The service rents out computer time by the hour.

The outage at the data center near Dulles Airport, outside Washington, was a major stumble for the service. Amazon is still restoring some of the computers brought down in the incident, which began eight days ago.

In a post-mortem report Friday, Seattle-based Amazon said human error set off the outage. An automated error-recovery mechanism then went out of control, and many computers became "stuck" in recovery mode.

The service is set up in a way that's supposed to provide redundancy, by letting computers in a different "availability zone" take over when one fails. Amazon said that customers that were properly set up to run their computing tasks over multiple zones were largely unaffected, but that the error made it difficult to switch zones on the fly. It's making changes to prevent the error from recurring.

The credit applies to all customers using the zone that went down, whether they were directly affected or not. Amazon has not revealed how many customers were affected.

Amazon shares rose 45 cents to $195.52 in morning trading Friday.

Explore further: Amazon launches videogame trade-in store


Related Stories

Amazon failure takes down sites across Internet

April 21, 2011

(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's profit tumbles more than expected

April 26, 2011

(AP) -- said Tuesday that its net income fell 33 percent in the latest quarter, a steeper drop than Wall Street expected as the online retailer poured more money into expanding its operations.

Recommended for you

Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

November 26, 2015

Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed—curly top gumweed—was ...

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.