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Facebook, Netflix affected for hours as Amazon Web Services reports outage

AWS went down in one of its regions, impacting major online services that use the company’s servers.

Four hours after Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage leaving millions of users unable to access huge portions of the internet, including apps, the cloud computing unit of Amazon announced that it has resolved its network devices issues.

At around 9.37 am Pacific Standard Time (PT), which translates to 11.07 pm IST, AWS APIs in the US-EAST-1 Region suffered an outage, the AWS Service Health Dashboard said. “This issue is also affecting some out monitoring and incident response tooling, which is delaying our ability to provide updates,” the notice read.

Simultaneously, downdetector.com, a website that tracks user-reported outages, pointed out that these websites and apps were affected by the AWS outage —

  • OTT platforms:
    • Hulu
    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Disney+
    • HBO Max
  • Social media:
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Snapchat
    • Reddit
    • Twitter
  • Games and related:
    • Call of Duty
    • Fortnite
    • Xbox Live
    • Playstation Network
    • Halo

These outages highlight the disadvantages of an oligopolistic market trend when it comes to cloud services. According to Statista, AWS has already captured around 32% of the cloud market share. Google and Microsoft Azure’s shares were at 20% and 7% respectively.

What caused the outage?

Two hours after AWS first confirmed the outage, it posted another notice stating that the root cause of the outage was that several network devices were impaired in AWS’ US-EAST-1 region. It also mentioned that the following services were impacted as a result —

  • EC2
  • Connect
  • DynamoDB
  • Gle
  • Athena
  • Timestrea
  • Chime

For customers experiencing issues signing-in to the AWS Management Console in US-EAST-1, we recommend retrying using a separate Management Console endpoint (such as https://us-west-2.console.aws.amazon.com/) — AWS Service Health Dashboard

Source: Downdetector.com

Soon after, AWS said that it had “executed a mitigation” that showed recovery in the affected region. It also temporarily disabled Event Deliveries for Amazon EventBridge in the US-EAST-1 region to expedite recovery.

Other instances of network outages

June 2021: Huge parts of the Internet, including sites like Reddit, American news sites, and Amazon went down in parts of the world as Fastly Content Delivery Network’s (CDN) global network took a hit for an hour.

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December 2020: According to this engadget report, Amazon Web Services had reported another outage in December which impacted services such as Adobe, Flickr, Roku, and so on.

March 2017:  In 2017, Amazon Web Services had a similar incident, which led to a similarly large number of sites going down for a couple hours.

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