Why Amazon went down in Amazon's own words

As Day 2 of Amazon's cloud failure continues, here is the official explaination of problem from Amazon Web's Services Service

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7:08 AM PDT In line with the most recent Amazon EC2 update, we are making steady progress in restoring the remaining affected RDS instances. We expect this progress to continue over the next few hours and we'll keep folks posted.

Status of AWS CloudFormation (N. Virginia) is Delays creating and deleting stacks

3:29 AM PDT We are experiencing delays in creating and deleting stacks that include EBS, EC2 and RDS resources in multiple availability zones in the US-EAST-1 region. Existing stacks are not impacted.

5:10 AM PDT CloudFormation stack creation and deletion is delayed for stacks containing EC2, EBS and RDS resources in the US-EAST-1 region. The delays began at 12:55AM PDT. We have isolated the impact to a single availability zone, and are working towards a resolution.

2:40 PM PDT We are continuing to see delays and failures creating and deleting stacks containing EC2, EBS and RDS resources in a single Availability Zone in the US-EAST-1 region. We are working towards a resolution. Please see the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (N. Virginia) and Amazon Relational Database Service (N. Virginia) status for more details.

Status of AWS Elastic Beanstalk is increased error rates

3:16 AM PDT We can confirm increased error rates impacting Elastic Beanstalk APIs and console, and we continue to work towards resolution.

4:18 AM PDT We continue to see increased error rates impacting Elastic Beanstalk APIs and console, and we are working towards resolution.

6:54 AM PDT Our APIs and console have recovered. However, we are still experiencing issues launching new environments or new EC2 instances in existing environments.

2:16 PM PDT We have observed several successful launches of new and updated environments over the last hour. A single Availability Zone in US-EAST-1 is still experiencing problems. We recommend customers do not target a specific Availability Zone when launching instances. We have updated our service to avoid placing any instances in the impaired zone for untargeted requests.

Additionally, this video gives an overview of the problem from Network World's Jon Brodkin.

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