Packet loss problem in Amazon's cloud wobbles Airbnb, Vine

The partial failure of a networking device caused some APIs to return errors, Amazon said Sunday

Amazon Web Services resolved service problems on Sunday that caused issues for several websites, including Airbnb's booking site and Twitter's Vine video application, which rely on its computing platform.

Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which is used by a variety of companies to host web applications, was unreachable due to a packet loss issue in the US-EAST-1 Region, referred to as an "availability zone" by Amazon. The problem started at 12:51 PM PDT and was mostly resolved by 1:42 PM PDT.

The problem caused a degradation of service in some Elastic Block Store (EBS) storage volumes, which are used in conjunction with EC2 instances. As a result, some APIs (application programming interfaces) returned error rates, Amazon said.

The partial failure of a networking device was to blame, Amazon said.

"The networking device was removed from service, and we are performing a forensic investigation to understand how it failed," AWS said. "We are continuing to work on a small number of instances and volumes that require additional maintenance before they return to normal performance."

Airbnb warned on Twitter that it was among several sites and applications that were down due to Amazon's problems.

Vine, a video editing and sharing service owned by Twitter, also advised that "We're aware of some issues affecting our servers and are working to address them now. Thanks for your patience and hang tight!" Facebook-owned Instagram, which also uses EC2, also acknowledged service problems.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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