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Arjan de Jong

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Amazon’s European Cloud Struck by Lightning

but Jitscale customers were not affected

Amazon’s Web Services’ European cloud suffered an outage over the weekend due to a lightning strike to the transformer at one of its power suppliers. The outage affected its European Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Relational Database Service (RDS) cloud services, among others.

According to the AWS status page, a lightning strike hit a transformer from a utility provider to one of the availability zones (EU-WEST-1 region) in Dublin. An availability zone is a set of hardware that supports cloud services and is independent from other zones. Due to the problem, services were ‘weakened’ from 7pm on Sunday, according to the information. Because the services are made up of complex pieces of software, Amazon needed to allocate further hardware to revive its cloud services when power was restored.

Jitscale as ‘lightning rod’
Depending on the business requirements of a customer, we will either spread the servers over multiple availability zones (AZ) or run it in a single AZ. All Jitscale customers who aren’t using multiple AZs in Europe, are running their production servers in one of the unaffected zones.

Thanks to Jitscale’s monitoring we were immediately notified about the outage of a few test servers, which were running in the affected zone. Since we continously take and store snapshots of all servers, we were able to directly start up the affected servers in one of the unaffected AZs.

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Arjan de Jong is Sales & Marketing Manager of Basefarm and has been working in the Internet industry since 1997.