New Amazon Web Services data center on fire in Northern Virginia

Published: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 by Rad

An Amazon datacentre in the US caught fire last week during construction. A data center in Ashburn, Virginia, was on fire Friday morning, NBC reports. The center, which is under construction, was being built for Amazon by a third-party contractor, but the fire didn't affect operations.

According to US reports, no one was hurt in the blaze and firefighters had it under control in 50 minutes. A spokeswoman at the fire department that attended the incident said the fire was confined to the roof and construction materials.

Amazon reportedly said:

"It was not a production facility and caused no impact or risk of impact to operations"

No one was hurt

"Several workers who were on the roof when the fire broke out were able to safely self-extricate from the roof without injury" spokeswoman for Amazon said.

While no customers were affected, the fire is a reminder to businesses which put their IT assets in the cloud that accidents and natural disasters do happen and must be prepared for through full backup and disaster recovery.

Notable Amazon Web Services outages

This is not the first time Amazon shad datacentre problems. Also latest did not affect production services of his customers.

e.g Amazon Web Services AWS suffered a serious outage on the day before Cyber Friday in 2014. Amazon's Cloudfront DNS service was suffering issues which, in turn, were creating serious page load times for many major websites that utilize the service.

On another passion in August 2013 on one Sunday afternoon, a hardware failure at Amazon's U.S.-East data center in North Virginia led to spiraling problems at a host of well-trafficked online services, including Instagram, Vine, AirBnB, and the popular mobile magazine app Flipboard.

It's not often that the company's own home page goes down. In January 2013, though, it did just that: Instead of its usual array of eye-catching wares, displayed a simple text error message for almost an hour on an otherwise uneventful January day: Http/1.1 Service Unavailable

However AWS is the king amongst cloud provider and user votes by their feet. AWS had more than 1 million active customers in November 2014 as defined by non-Amazon customers who use the cloud at least once a month. The takeaway: "The cloud is the new normal," says Andy Jassy, senior vice president of Amazon Web Service

AWS Uptime - best in 2014 so far

Among major public cloud vendors, Amazon EC2 has maintained the best uptime over the past year with a total downtime of 2.43 hours across all regions, according to CloudHarmony, a company based in Laguna Beach, Calif. that conducts independent, third-party monitoring of cloud vendor uptime.

The uptime improvements can be attributed to experience, additional data centers for failover, more automation, better internal communication and an improved ability to spot patterns that lead to outages.

Providers spend a lot of money to maintain service and have become more proactive because a string of outages will be top of mind as enterprises consider total cost of ownership when shopping for cloud.

AWS is still the biggest cloud

Amazon Web Services remains the biggest of the big cloud providers, but it's seeing competitors gaining in its rear-view mirror. Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund now expects Microsoft to field the largest cloud business by December 2014 — at least in terms of annual revenue run rate which he estimated will be $5.77 billion.

For Amazon's recent second quarter, net sales for the category including AWS grew 38 percent year over year, to $844 million but were off 3 percent sequentially. And the growth rate declined from 60 percent for the previous quarter.

Microsoft and Google are now aggressively selling their infrastructure to startups and enterprises alike. In that superheated battle, they are wooing even Amazon's biggest and best customers; companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and, yes, Netflix.

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