Amazon Web Services, the shopping giant’s internet infrastructure arm, is experiencing technical issues that are echoing across much of the rest of the internet.
A variety of websites and services were hit by problems, which started at approximately 5:00pm GMT yesterday, apparently because of issues with the underlying technology.
That included many of the world’s biggest apps and services, from Disney Plus and Tinder to Coinbase. Games were also hit, with PUBG and League of Legends seeming to go down.
It also hit other Amazon-owned services, including the Alexa voice assistant, the Kindle, Amazon Music and its Ring security cameras.
But it did not appear to be a problem in all locations. Amazon said the problems were in the “US-EAST-1” which is hosted in Virginia and serves areas nearby, meaning that people reliant on other parts of the AWS network may still be able to load services, though it might perform more slowly than usual.
Users concerned about any service that has not resumed normal functionality can check the status of Amazon Web Services at its dedicated page
It semes that the problems only remain in North America, with Europe, Africa, and the Middle East seemingly working as normal.
One of the major problems of the internet is how centralised it is. A small handful of technology companies provide essential support and services for a huge range of smaller websites and products.
As such, when Amazon goes down, it takes other services like Disney+, IMDb, and others.
Similar scenes were seen when Cloudflare went down earlier this year - which brought down Reddit, Twitch, and many more.
Amazon Web Services are still settling
With the United Kingdom and Europe wakling up, the main outages have been restored but Amazon Web Services remain slow.
"With the network device issues resolved, we are now working towards recovery of any impaired services", the company wrote on its status page.
It also said that while it has seem some issues, they have decreased since the error first started yesterday evening.
Amazon blamed AWS outage on high traffic from unknown source, says report
The primary reason behind the outage is believed to be a sudden increase in traffic that caused congestion across multiple network devices in Northern Virginia.
According to reports, the company had initially pegged the “root cause” of the outage on “a problem with several network devices within the internal AWS network”.
“...these devices are receiving more traffic than they are able to process, which is leading to elevated latency and packet loss for the traffic traversing them,” read screenshots of an internal AWS communique from Tuesday morning obtained by Insider.
Smart device users register anger on social media
The outage left thousands of people in the US without working fridges, Roomba and doorbells.
Livid customers took to social media to register their anger with the company.
The outage dampened the Christmas spirit for some.
Amazon says company working to fix impaired services
The company is the latest post on the AWS status page said they are now working to fix any impaired services.
“With the network device issues resolved, we are now working towards recovery of any impaired services. We will provide additional updates for impaired services within the appropriate entry in the Service Health Dashboard,” it said.
Amazon suffered 27 outages in 12 months
In the past 12 months, users have experienced 27 outages on Amazon, according to a web tool reviewing website ToolTester.
Amazon was also among the top 20 websites to face the most amount of outages in the last 12 months in the United States.
Earlier in July, over 38,000 customers were affected due to a disruption on amazon’s online store service, that lasted for almost two hours.
The other Amazon outages, as covered by The Independent
The massive Amazon outage impacting businesses across the country isn’t the first such problem at the retail tech giant. It’s not even their first major service outage this year.
Here’s how The Independent has covered previous Amazon outages.
Cloud-computing service is backbone to numerous companies across different industries
The e-commerce giant generates $9,615 in sales per second – but not when it’s website is down
Delta, Southwest Airlines faced server issues due to outage
People trying to book flight tickets or change trips with Delta Air Lines had trouble connecting to the airline.
“Delta is working quickly to restore functionality to our AWS-supported phone lines,” said spokesperson Morgan Durrant, encouraging customers to use its website or mobile app instead.
Similarly, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines said it switched to West Coast servers after some airport-based systems were affected.
Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said there were no major disruptions to flights.
One part of Amazon that’s not suffering? Its stock price
The Amazon Web Services outage may be hitting companies across the country, but Amazon’s stock price sure hasn’t been affected.
As of Tuesday evening, shares were up nearly 3 per cent.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies