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Rackspace’s cloud storage outage

Simon Sharwood

Rackspace has experienced a disruption to one of its cloud storage products, thanks to a DNS error that hit users of its JungleDisk software.

JungleDisk was an early Amazon S3 client that offered automation and scheduling features that made it a viable cloud backup option. Although never marketed as a backup option for business, the software’s ability to address networked volumes made it stand out from other automated cloud backup options such as Mozy and Carbonite. Rackspace acquired JungleDisk in 2008, ensured its own cloud storage systems were available as a backup target and quickly added server editions of the software.

But last week some JungleDisk customers lost the ability to operate the software, thanks to a DNS error that meant they could not login to jungledisk.com to verify ownership of the software. Users hit by this flaw were unable to conduct backups to any cloud service.

In a blog post dated April 29th, Rackspace said

The issue was identified to be an error with hostname translations on a single DNS server. This server was returning erroneous DNS information.

In order to mitigate the issue, our Cloud Engineers performed an emergency maintenance to change the DNS configuration. This maintenance was completed at 10:22 PM (CDT) April 28th, 2011. While the DNS records are propagating, affected customers may continue to experience connectivity issues for up to 48 hours after the maintenance was completed.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you or your customers. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact a member of your support team.

The outage seems not to be impacting many users, with only a couple of tweets lamenting the situation. And as Rackspace explains, the outage won't last long. But in a week that saw Amazon Web Services experience a major outage that reportedly resulted in data loss, even a small glitch like this one is almost certainly not what cloud computing enthusiasts - or users - want.