People couldn’t change flights on Delta, order concert tickets from Ticketmaster, read several news outlets, and more when Amazon Web Services (AWS) went down on Tuesday (Dec. 7) for more than five hours, according to multiple reports.
Although Amazon has not yet addressed a reason for the outage, a notice on the AWS status page had indicated that there were problems with some APIs and the AWS Management Console, which primarily affected the main US-East-1 region hosted in northern Virginia.
Among the services affected were Disney+, Netflix, Slack, Ticketmaster, Robinhood, Coinbase, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, McDonald’s, Venmo, Chime, and more. Users started first reporting issues with AWS at roughly 10:45 a.m. EST, according to Downdetector. By 11:15 .m., the site showed almost 11,300 outages.
The biggest U.S. cloud provider, AWS supports many of the country’s biggest businesses with computing storage and network capabilities. It also provides cloud services to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
“We are actively working towards recovery,” Amazon said in an update on its status dashboard.
AWS said it started looking into the error rates and console issues in the US-East-1 region at about 11:15 a.m. — covering Boston, Houston, Chicago, and other cities — and spotted the root cause. Downdetector outages dropped lower than 3,500 by 5 p.m.
Amazon has an estimated 90 percent share of the cloud infrastructure market, Sid Nag, vice president at research firm Gartner, told the Wall Street Journal. Microsoft and Google are also major players in the cloud service provider space.
“These guys have almost become too big to fail,” Nag said, referring to AWS. “Large parts of our day-to-day lives are predicated on activities that run on these cloud platforms.”
Cloud outages are common but have become more of an issue as companies rely on the services. Nag said that he estimates there is an outage about every quarter of every year.
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