Massive Amazon Web Services outages hits companies across internet

Cloud-computing service is backbone to numerous companies across different industries

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Thursday 26 November 2020 20:21 GMT
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Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud-computing platform that’s the digital backbone to numerous different businesses, has suffered a major outage .

The problems on Wednesday affected numerous firms including the streaming platform Roku, creative software manufacturer Adobe, and high-profile news outlets including the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon-affiliated businesses were not spared either. Users of Ring, the Amazon-owned smart home security camera company, couldn’t log in and watch video at points, while the outage also hit The Washington Post, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns privately.

“We are actively working toward full recovery for all affected services, and will continue to provide updates regularly as we have new information to share,” Amazon wrote on the update page for the AWS incident, which appears to be linked to a series of Amazon facilities in northern Virginia.

Though less high-profile than Amazon’s web store, AWS, founded in 2006, is essential to the company—and the economy at large. The company helped pioneer the process of cloud-computing, where customers rent data storage and processing power over the web, rather than investing in costly local systems themselves.

Since then, it has gone on to capture roughly 45 percent of the global cloud-computing market, according to estimates, and has become a major part of the operations of Netflix, Kellog’s, Airbnb, and the US government, among numerous others. It is also reportedly the most profitable part of Amazon’s business.

A spokesperson told The Verge the outage had affected only one of its 23 geographic AWS regions.

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