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Amazon Can’t Recover All Its Cloud Data From Outage

Many of us will look back on The Great Cloud Outage of 2011 that brought hundreds of sites like Reddit, Foursquare, and Hootsuite to their knees as a dark time, that forced us to look up from our phones or contemplate going outside. For users of the cloud service, however, it could be a permanent loss as Amazon has announced that some of the data will not be recoverable.

The data in question comes from the Elastic Block Storage (EBS) provided by Amazon, as part of its Web Services. For users of the Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) virtual machines, the EBS is similar to a hard drive on a desk top computer. Each block, or volume, is available in sizes from 1 Gb to 1 Tb, and more than one volume can be attached to an instance, or EC2 virtual machine.

According to Amazon, 0.07% of these volumes cannot be recovered.

Given the popularity of the EC2 service and the sizes of EBS available, it’s possible that 0.07% of the volumes represents a significant amount of data. Amazon has, however, provided no figures for comparison. The online mega-seller has remained tight-lipped about the outage in general, providing little information to both users and the general public. They say that an in-depth post-mortem of the event will be made available soon.

It is worth noting that while users who lost their data will be no doubt unhappy, 99.93% of the volumes provided by Amazon are completely fine. In their statement on the non-recoverable data, they describe the amount of data lost as “small.” But without firm facts about the incident, most of us are left guessing.

(via U.K. Register)

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