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An outage of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud in North Virginia has taken down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and other services. According to numerous Twitter updates and our own checks, all three services are unavailable as of Friday evening at 9:10 p.m. PT.

Amazon’s service health dashboard indicates that there are power issues in its North Virginia data center, most likely caused by severe storms in the region.

Independent checks by VentureBeat of Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and Heroku show each site not operating. Netflix has acknowledged the issue on its customer support Twitter account:


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Instagram’s support Twitter account has also noted ongoing issues:

Heroku’s status and incident dashboard says: “Our engineers continue to work to restore affected systems. Some production applications are unaffected but many applications are offline. API access is disabled while we restore service.”

As of 8:49 p.m. PT, Amazon claims that “power has been restored to the impacted Availability Zone and we are working to bring impacted instances and volumes back online.” If power has been restored to its North Virginia data center, we would expect that the affected services will be back online shortly. But until then, agitated users will just have to sit back and relax.

Update: As of 9:20 p.m. PT, Amazon said it is still working to fix the issue: “We are continuing to work to bring the instances and volumes back online. In addition, EC2 and EBS APIs are currently experiencing elevated error rates.”

Update 2: As of 9:54 p.m. PT, Amazon said: “EC2 and EBS APIs are once again operating normally. We are continuing to recover impacted instances and volumes.”

Update 3: Independent checks of Netflix and Pinterest show the two sites back and working normally in most regards. Most likely, service is being restored to all services as we update.

Update 4: At 4:42 a.m. PT, Amazon said: “We are continuing to work to recover the remaining EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and ELBs.” At this time, Instagram is still down, while Heroku said it is still recovering some features as of 7:10 a.m. PT.

Update 5: As of Saturday afternoon, all affected services including Instagram appear to be functioning normally again.

With the critical Amazon outage, which is the second this month, we wouldn’t be surprised if these popular services started looking at other options, including Rackspace, SoftLayer, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google’s just-introduced Compute Engine. Some of Amazon’s biggest EC2 outages occurred in April and August of last year.

Let us know in the comments if you are seeing any other services that are down in this massive outage.

Storm clouds photo: divingrocks/Flickr

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