The Cloud is falling, the Cloud is falling! Amazon, Walmart, Salesforce and others down on December 23rd

A Major pre-christmas internet outage seems to be hitting the heavy hitters on the web right now. Amazon.com, Salesforce.com, and Walmart.com are all offline right now, perhaps even more. Interestingly enough sites running on amazon web services (AWS EC2) seem to be running just fine. An outage of these large sites at the same time is likely a result of an attack of massive proportions.

UPDATE: It appears the outage was actually isolated primarily to the west coast of the US, and was actually an outage of ultradns.com which provided dns for all of the above sites and many others, including netflix and newegg.

EC2 and S3 never actually went down, but S3 urls that actually used s3.amazonaws.com were not functioning, so while many sites with S3 images stopped loading, twitter, which also uses S3 for image hosting did not have a broken image because they had their own dns pointing to S3’s ips. I also didn’t notice the EC2 servers being down, but that was because I access EC2 servers with other dns names, not amazonaws.com, had I tried to access them using amazonaws.com urls, I surely would have had difficulty.

Google List Message Headers Changing – Could real Google Groups for Domains be on the way?

UPDATE: I was right, tonight Google announced Google Groups is now part of Google Apps for Domains!

This morning I noticed a change in the way emails sent to a group (formerly known as list) email address on google apps for domains appear. Below is an example of the bottom of the email headers on an email sent to one of my groups on nick.pro:

Old Mailing List MIME Headers

On the other hand here is the bottom of the email headers on an email sent to that same group today:

New Mailing List MIME Headers

As you can see in these images, a few new list specific header lines have been added that make lists appear more like they were handled by more traditional mailing list software, rather then a simple email forwarder.

I’ve confirmed this change seems to have happened today as emails to groups as recently as yesterday do not have the additional headers, while emails to the same groups today have the additional headers, hop past the break to see a breakdown of the 4 new headers and what I think this change means:


The important new headers are:

  • List-Help, which contains both a link to a support for the mailing list, as well as a new [email protected] email address for list support
  • Sender, which is now set to [email protected] rather then being left off of the header (and thus defaulting to the original sender’s From: address
  • X-Original-Sender, which is the original “sender” in this case the same as the from address
  • X-Original-Authentication-Results, which contains the SPF parsing results from when google processed the original email

What does this mean? I think it means Google is finally making an effort to turn the groups in Google Apps for Domains (already taking a step closer to real mailing lists earlier this year when they improved the permission system on who can send email to the list), into real mailing lists closer to the popular Google Groups service. If this is true, and I hope it is, we should be seeing additional Google Groups type features (such as archiving, subscription, and digest options) coming to Groups in Google Apps for Domains soon.