Amazon Cloud Outage Affects Major Customers

A major outage in Amazon’s cloud computing network has severely disrupted services at a wide range of US companies for beginning on Wednesday 7th. Amazon and some other services including Prime Video and Alexa have been hit by computer problems. 

Thousands of users in the United States have been reporting problems on the outage tracking website Downdetector. There are reports in the US that customers of McDonald's, Netflix, Disney, and several other AWS clients, are having problems.

This is just the latest indication ot how concentrated the business of keeping the internet running has become.

Amazon said the outage was most likely due to problems related to Application Programming Interface (API) software, a set of protocols for building and integrating application software, Reuters reported. “We are experiencing API and console issues in the US-East-1 Region,” AWS said in a report on its service health dashboard, adding that it had identified the cause.

The company added that not all regions of the world had experienced problems and reports suggest that the biggest disruption for customers is being seen on the US east coast. 

By late late afternoon the outage appeared to be partially resolved, with the company saying that it was “working towards full recovery”. “With the network device issues resolved, we are now working towards recovery of any impaired services,” the company said on the dashboard.  Amazon subsequently said that it had identified the cause and has "seen some signs of recovery", but gave no timescale for a solution. 

Downdetector showed more than 24,000 incidents of people reporting problems with Amazon. It tracks outages by collating status reports from a number of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. 

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing arm, which provides services to governments, companies and universities, is also affected. On the Amazon shopping website, many users reported just a slow loading of pages rather than an inability to use the service. 

Services including Amazon's Ring security cameras, mobile banking app Chime and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot were also facing issues according to their social media pages and Twitter.  "A major Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage is currently impacting our iRobot Home App," iRobot wrote on its website. Ring also said it was working to solve the issues. 

It is the third outage for Amazon this year. In June users experienced a brief outage on Amazon platforms, including Alexa and Prime Video. 

That incident also hit several other companies, including Shopify, PayPal and the news group CNN. In July the e-commerce giant experienced disruption of its online stores service, which lasted for nearly two hours and affected almost 40,000 users. 

The outage problems at AWS, the biggest cloud computing company in the world, could become even more serious because of the large number of corporate customers, as well as critical government organisations in defence and intelligence.

AWS:     Reuters:     The Verge:    9to5Mac:    BBC:     Independent:    Metro:

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