Some sites struggle to stay up due to Heroku attack

Heroku said an apparent DDoS attack is causing availability issues for some of its customers

A potential DDoS attack on Heroku, the Ruby platform-as-a-service provider now owned by Salesforce.com, is creating availability issues for its customers.

The problems started on Monday when Heroku reported that a small number of users, primarily those that point a root domain to Heroku via static Internet Protocol addresses, were getting connection errors.

Via its status page, Heroku later told customers that it was working closely with its network service provider to mitigate availability issues coming from what it believed was a distributed denial-of-service attack. "The current attack protection procedures have reduced the effects of this attack to intermittent issues," according to the status page.

Heroku did not reply to a request for further information.

Affected customers took to Twitter with their complaints. "The current @heroku issue has screwed me in a pretty emphatic way. Deeply unhappy about it," one user, John Barnette, wrote on Twitter.

The company Loqize.me, which uses Heroku and is having some issues, advised customers via Twitter to try reloading if they are unable to access the site. Another company, Rexly, apologized to customers having trouble using its service due to Heroku's "hiccups." NationBuilder.com also warned users about issues related to Heroku's service.

Heroku's problems follow other high-profile cloud outages that are making some people worry about the reliability of cloud services. Amazon Web Services suffered a sustained outage recently and Microsoft's hosted Exchange service was down in the Americas for several hours on multiple occasions last week.

One user vented his frustrations over being affected by both the Heroku problems and an apparent problem at SendGrid, an e-mail service. "Between @heroku and @SendGrid flaking on me today, I'm pretty upset. I pay these companies so I don't have to worry about this stuff," Lail Brown complained on Twitter.

Heroku customers include Best Buy, Ubermind, FlightCaster and CloudApp.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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