An outage of Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s cloud arm, spilled over into the online economy, crippling the services used by millions of people.
Among the most distraught were fans of British singer Adele who were hoping to land the first tickets to her next residence in Las Vegas.
“Due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage affecting businesses around the world,” ticket vendor Ticketmaster Explain, “All fan presales verified by Adele originally scheduled for today have been moved to tomorrow”.
The disruption has highlighted how many of the most popular internet services rely on cloud computing infrastructure operated by a very small number of large companies.
According to Gartner, 80% of the cloud market is managed by just five companies. Amazon, with a 41% share of the cloud computing market, is the largest.
“They’ve had some really big outages,” said Servaas Verbiest of Sungard Availability Services, a company that provides “disaster recovery” for multiple cloud platforms. “What makes AWS more exposed is the volume of business they have. “
Within Amazon itself on Tuesday, the unthinkable happened: Grounded delivery drivers couldn’t load packages and deliver to customers’ doors, just as the peak Christmas season begins. to intensify.
Drivers at several facilities across the country have been sent home with pay. With little to do, many of them took to social media to enjoy the moment while it lasted – some dread the workload that could befall them once systems have restarted and are up and running.
“Damage to multiple network devices” in one of its server regions – US-EAST-1 – was the “root cause” of the disruption, Amazon said in a post on the AWS status page , which monitors the operational health of its global network of interconnected computers.
Amazon has not commented on the disruption to its shipments.
Business Insider cited an internal memo detailing a flood of traffic from an “as yet unknown source.”
Publicly, the company recorded the first issues at 9:37 a.m. PT on Tuesday morning, although users of affected departments have complained about the issues before. At 3 p.m. AWS said it had been able to restore service most of the time.
Several of the first affected sites appeared to have been able to redirect traffic to alternative servers. Whether or not the outages created longer lasting problems for businesses depended on the extent to which executives prioritized diversifying their cloud providers, Verbiest added.
“If you’ve adopted the ecosystem and have everything in AWS, you’re in a wait and wait scenario,” he said.
While high-profile outages can be a boon to competitors like Google and Microsoft, Verbiest stressed that the bar for switching service providers is high.
“It’s hard to say that an outage is going to steer people to one cloud platform or another, because every cloud provider has outages. That’s roughly how long do they last and how do they resolve them when they occur? “
In November 2020, the US-EAST-1 region was also at the heart of an AWS outage affecting many of the same websites. In this case, a fault in an Amazon system called Kinesis would be the culprit.
This time, according to DownDetector.com, which uses websites and services that have trouble loading or fail to load, the businesses affected included McDonald’s, the payment service owned by PayPal Venmo, the DoorDash delivery and the Zoom video conferencing platform.
The disruption of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music appears to benefit Netflix and Spotify. However, both competitors also use AWS and have been similarly affected.
iRobot, the creators of the Roomba standalone vacuum cleaner, apologized to users who were unable to sign in to the device’s app.
An apparent Roomba owner joked on Twitter, “My wife is going to kill me if the homes aren’t cleaned before she comes home. “
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