AWS, Amazon

Update: Amazon has fixed the issue in terms of resolving the massive error rates it was seeing. The S3 service is now operating normally.

PreviouslyAmazon Web Services (AWS) is huge. The platform provides cloud based infrastructure to hundreds of companies across the globe. The company today confirmed that it is looking into issues associated with its S3 storage service that are causing many dependent services to work slowly.

Apparently, Amazon S3 is used by somewhere around 148,213 websites, and 121,761 unique domains (SimilarTech). Apart from websites, many app and services also have their back-ends stored on the service and they are all reeling from the impact of this outage. Nest devices for instance, have stopped working in many cases.

A large number of web based services and applications were affected and appeared to be working slower than usual. The issue appears to have been caused due to increased error rates for Amazon S3 requests in the US-EAST-1 Region. Amazon is investigating the matter and at the time of publishing this article, the services had started recovery.

As per Venturebeat, a list of prominent affected services that could have trouble opening or may be working slowly, is as follows:

Adobe’s services, Amazon’s Twitch, Atlassian’s Bitbucket and HipChat, Buffer, Business Insider, Carto, Chef, Citrix, Clarifai, Codecademy, Coindesk, Convo, Coursera, Cracked, Docker, Elastic, Expedia, Expensify, FanDuel, FiftyThree, Flipboard, Flippa, Giphy, GitHub, GitLab, Google-owned Fabric, Greenhouse, Heroku, Home Chef, iFixit, IFTTT, Imgur, Ionic,, Jamf, JSTOR, Kickstarter, Lonely Planet, Mailchimp, Mapbox, Medium, Microsoft’s HockeyApp, the MIT Technology Review, MuckRock, New Relic, News Corp, PagerDuty, Pantheon, Quora, Razer, Signal, Slack, Sprout Social, StatusPage (which Atlassian recently acquired), Travis CI, Trello, Twilio, Unbounce, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Vermont Public Radio, VSCO, and Zendesk, among other things. Airbnb, Down Detector, Freshdesk, Pinterest, SendGrid, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, and Time Inc.

Unbelievably, this is still not the full list. AWS is adding more names to the list as it continues unearthing websites and services that may have been working slowly or not working at all due to high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1.

Apparently, Apple services, including App Store, iCloud and FaceTime are also among affected. However, the company has been unable to confirm whether they were caused due to AWS’s S3 difficulties or due to some other reason.

Meanwhile, AWS is working to correct the issue. In its last update, the company said:

We are seeing recovery for S3 object retrievals, listing and deletions. We continue to work on recovery for adding new objects to S3 and expect to start seeing improved error rates within the hour.

Apparently, Amazon’s own services were affected as well and it first had to repair the ability to update the service health dashboard before pushing out updates. The services appear to be slowly coming back up and AWS says that it has identified the root cause and is involved in implementing the solution.

This is not the first time that Amazon Web Services is facing such issues. The company faced a five hour outage back in 2015 as well. However, it has grown quite a bit since then and as we see, the errors are affecting a large portion of the most popular services we access through the web. Meanwhile, it also goes to show the sheer dominance of AWS with regards to cloud and web based infrastructure.

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