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Amazon's Cloud Glitch Still Not Completely Resolved

By Steven Russolillo Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Inc. (AMZN) said the technical issues plaguing its Web services business still haven't been completely resolved, which has prompted some websites to move to contingency plans as they wait for a full recovery. Amazon, which rents Web services and storage to companies, said early Friday it had made progress in fixing the outage, but the outage has now lingered for more than 24 hours and the recovery is taking longer than anticipated to complete. Reddit, a user-generated news site, said it continues to operate in "emergency mode" as Amazon experiences a degradation. "We're starting to see more meaningful progress in restoring volumes (many have been restored in the last few hours) and expect this progress to continue over the next few hours," Amazon said in an update on its website at 9:18 a.m. EDT. Amazon representatives didn't respond to requests for additional comment. It is unclear how many companies have been hurt by Amazon's outage. Amazon disclosed early Thursday it was experiencing "instance connectivity, latency and error rates" with one of its data centers in northern Virginia. The facility hosts Amazon Web-services operations for many business customers who operate websites and store data. Early Friday, Amazon said some minor portions of this data center will need to be restored with a "more time consuming process" that will lead to longer recovery times. "When we get to that point, we'll let folks know," Amazon said on its site. Reddit, which is waiting for Amazon to fix its issues, said it doesn't have an estimated time for when it expects its website to operate at full capacity. "We are trying to work some magic and will very slowly be bringing the site back up," Reddit said in a message at the top of its website. "Please stand by." Start-ups such as Foursquare and Quora, which both cited service problems Thursday related to Amazon's outage, appear to be operating regularly. Amazon's Web-based services are often listed as a model for other such offerings. It allows users to run programs and store information remotely, accessing the applications over the Internet and eliminating the cost of operating the equipment themselves. Two of Amazon's biggest competitors in this field include Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Azure cloud-computing platform and Rackspace Hosting Inc. (RAX). Analysts have estimated Amazon Web Services could generate more than $500 million in revenue this year. The Seattle-based company promises its Web-services customers that its data centers will be available 99.95% of the time. Outages aren't uncommon for Internet service providers as technical issues occur fairly regularly. But the duration of this particular outage is fairly alarming, especially since Amazon is considered a poster child for cloud hosting services and has built a reliable reputation since launching Web services five years ago. Amazon shares closed Thursday up 1.1% at $185.89. The stock is up 3.3% this year. -By Steven Russolillo, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2180;

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