Amazon Web Services Users Experience Hiccups Following Recent Outage

by Jennifer Shea

Some Amazon Web Services users are once again reporting problems with the service in the wake of a massive outage that struck on Tuesday.

Downdetector charted a sudden spike in outage reports just before 9 a.m. this morning. The reports were concentrated around New York City and, to a lesser extent, Washington, D.C., according to Downdetector’s map.  

Nearly 70 percent of the reported problems were with websites. About 20 percent were with the AWS console, and just over 10 percent were with the AWS login.

“Unable to access AWS console login page,” one user said, per The Sun. Thousands of others reported similar problems, but Amazon didn’t see any clear cause for the issues on their end. It’s possible that the problems stemmed from localized internet service interruptions.

Recent Amazon Web Services Outage Was Costly for Its Customers

On Tuesday, a major outage struck Amazon Web Services’ US-East-1 region, which is hosted in northern Virginia. The outage caused more than 24,000 reports to pour into Downdetector, starting at around 10:40 a.m. ET. And it meant lost business for clients like Netflix, Disney+, and Robinhood.

“Netflix, which runs nearly all of its infrastructure on AWS, appears to have lost 26% of its traffic,” Doug Madory, chief of internet analysis at analytics firm Kentik, told Reuters.

The outage caused problems for some APIs, which are protocols for application software, and the AWS Management Console. By 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Amazon had fixed its EC2 cloud computing service problems, but other issues remained.

Over the last 12 months, Amazon has suffered 27 outages affecting its services.

Outage Also Affected Company’s Infrastructure

But it wasn’t only Amazon Web Service customers who saw their businesses grind to a halt amid the outage. Amazon’s own Flex and AtoZ apps, which its warehouse workers and delivery drivers rely on, were also down. That meant Amazon workers couldn’t scan packages or check delivery routes, per CNBC.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company was having problems with its internal apps as a result of the outage. He told CNBC that Amazon was “working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Amazon informed its delivery drivers through a company chat app that it was “currently monitoring a network-wide technical outage.” The company instructed the delivery drivers to “go to a nearby safe location and stand by.”

The outage, which hit at the height of the holiday shopping season, could hardly have come at a worse time for Amazon. On Tuesday, the company said it was “working towards full recovery across services.” But another serious outage now would raise questions about the stability of Amazon’s services and might tempt customers to jump to smaller rivals like Fastly or Oracle.