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With Amazon EC2 down right now, I figured this is a good time to ask the question.

We've got all of our services hosted on EC2 at the moment and as a result, nothing is responding at all. Ideally, I'd like to show a basic "we're down" page when data center failures like this one occur.

I guess I'm just wondering what the best way to configure something like that would be. Off the top of my head, I was thinking about picking up a Linode slice, configuring nginx or the like on it and just serving a static page in response to all requests.

But then, so in the event of a downtime, incident, presumably that means updating all DNS records to point to that slice, and then restoring those when things come back online?

That's the best I could come up with but I'm not sure it's very good. If others have suggestions or can share experiences, I'd be very appreciative.

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Redirecting to a system hosted somewhere other than your primary data centre will generally require DNS changes, however there are several services that offer failover DNS which will automatically change DNS records based on a check you can configure failing (usually trying to retrieve a web page).

Using DNS like this could fail over to a static page, another cloud provider, whatever your budget will allow.

ZoneEdit are a provider who do this (believe they have a free trial) but that's an example, not a recommendation.

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I've been using ZoneEdit for years, and will recommend them. –  Brad Apr 21 '11 at 15:52

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