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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has suffered its third outage in two weeks, as the cloud computing giant’s “U.S.-East-1” cloud region went down in North Virginia.

Following reports that various online services were faltering, including Slack, Epic Games Store, and Amazon itself, AWS confirmed via its service health dashboard that it was investigating “increased EC2 launch failures and networking connectivity issues” for some instances in a single Availability Zone in the region. The company later put the outage down to a loss of power within a datacenter, though it also confirmed further faults related to AWS Directory Service and AWS Single Sign-On which are still being resolved at the time of writing.

While Amazon has striven to assure companies that the outage will be resolved for most users shortly, it follows a spate of similar AWS outages over the past few weeks. In early December, companies including Disney+, Netflix, Instacart, and McDonald’s were hit by an outage on the very same U.S.-East-1 cloud region, caused by an “impairment of several network devices” which led to multiple API errors that impacted AWS services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). One week later, two AWS West Coast regions were briefly hit too.

While the triumvirate of outages are certainly not new for AWS and its customers who have suffered at the hands of such cloud glitches, the frequency over the past couple of weeks — twice at the very same facility — will do little to dissuade those that argue in favor of hybrid or multi-region cloud strategies. Particularly where mission-critical services are concerned.


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“The latest AWS outage highlights why it’s so critical for businesses to design their technology infrastructure for resilience, with no single point of failure,” Gleb Budman, cofounder and CEO of cloud storage and data backup company Backblaze, told VentureBeat. “The truth is that anything and everything can fail. Smart organizations work from that assumption, and we see a growing number taking a multi-cloud approach, with data replicated not just across regions but across providers, and portability between providers, to address this specifically.”

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