Remember Feb. 29, 2012, when Azure automated controls took over?
This S3 incident in some ways was reminiscent of the Azure Feb. 29, 2012 leap year outage. Azure controls couldn't issue a certificate without adding a date of expiration. On Feb. 29, 2012, it attempted to say the expiration date was Feb. 29, 2013, when no such date would exist. The failure of the certificate caused the creation of a virtual machine to fail. Groupings of three repeated failures convinced the automatic cloud controls that a physical server had failed and its VMs needed to be transferred elsewhere, which transferred the problem elsewhere inside Azure. Automated operations are economical and efficient, until something unanticipated happens and they kick in when they're not supposed to.