A number of servers running Amazon.com's Elastic Compute Cloud service, which provides pay-by-the-hour computation, went offline this morning from 2 to 3:30 a.m. EC2 is one of Amazon's developer services, offering low-cost virtual servers mostly to startups. Dozens of users complained in this thread on Amazon's message board, where an Amazon staffer reported the "notworking team" — a Freudian slip for "networking"? — was on the problem. What were they complaining about? That their websites stopped losing money for 90 minutes?
One tipster wonders "maybe Amazon trying to sell their shitty 'availability zones' idea" by having instances go down. "Availability zones" allow users to spread their virtual servers across geographic areas to increase availability. The genius of the idea: Sure, Amazon's server clusters should be reliable enough not to need it, but now Amazon can sell downtime as a value-added feature.
As for the outage, Amazon reports the problem was with external connectivity and was a networking problem — nothing to do with the servers themselves.