Widespread Outage Due to Amazon EC2

As I write this post, MemberHub.com is experiencing the largest outage since we launched our service. Yet we are not alone. Sites such Foursquare, Quora, Reddit, Hootsuite, Flavors.me and others have experienced downtime and felt the the effects of Amazon’s current outage. In fact, well over 100 sites have been affected.

To help our users understand what’s going on I’ve put some notes together.

1. MemberHub is hosted on Amazon

What does this mean? It means that MemberHub is a website. And like any other website you have to host it on a server somewhere. We chose to host MemberHub in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, aka EC2. Yes, Amazon.com doesn’t just sell merchandise it also has a web services company called Amazon Web Services. Amazon EC2 offers extremely affordable hosting plans and is used by a vast number of web-based companies. Even when you’re as big and profitable as Amazon, “stuff happens” and I’m certain they understand the reprecussion their outages have caused for much of the internet.

2. Our Disaster Recovery Plan is Getting Better

Long story – short, we were unable to switch servers without losing data yesterday. We were only experiencing intermittent downtime the first half of the day, but after Amazon took us completely offline, we were able to get “snapshot” of the data. So that’s why were trying to switch servers as I type this. But, the point is, next time the cloud fails (and it will) we will be much faster at getting back online.

3. We Have the Best Users Ever

We understand the impact that our downtime has had on your organization’s communication needs. It’s no small thing. But every single user we’ve spoken with has been full of grace and understanding.

Thank YOU for your support.

Please shoot us an email at customercare[AT]memberhub.com or call us at 866.586.2080 if you have any questions.