AWS outage destroys EBS-based AMIs in Europe region

I always recommend to create your own EBS-based AMIs (e.g. for running complex software such as Oracle Fusion Middleware). This hold true for the classic AMIs as well as for the converted Oracle VM templates. Never rely on the existence of AMIs provided by Oracle because:

– Oracle can change or update (or remove) them any time.

– They often don’t exist for certain AWS regions, they are S3-based or only exist based on 32-bit OEL instead of 64-bit.

– Also, the AMIs provided often don’t exist for a specific version of Oracle products.

So always create your own copy! Yet here is something to consider:

AWS broke an EBS-based AMI of mine by deleting arbitrary block in the image. This is particularly annoying since there is no easy way to create an offline copy an EBS-based AMI. You could rsync the running image to local computer but there is absolutely no support to get this done in a user-friendly way from the AWS console.

The good: They informed me in time (being in Sydney if something happens in the EU regions gives you an advantage) and sent an apology. They also replaced the deleted blocks with empty blocks.

The bad: It cost me several days to create this AMI which was an OEL EBS-based, full-blown installation of Oracle SOA Suite (I still have to check if it will be usable after a file system check).

For a more detailed explanation of what happened take a look at Amazon’s summary of the events. It summarizes to an error in the EBS software that was overlayed with a power outage in Dublin.

Hello Amazon: Why don’t you provide an easy way to have an offline backup of EBS-based AMIs for disaster recovery?

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