Amazon cloud service outage from Roombas to news sites holds back

SEATTLE – Amazon’s widely used cloud computing service on Wednesday suffered a significant outage in U.S. operations that hampered everything from web-connected security camera services to the use of software that businesses use to design products.

From mid-morning, a number of Amazon Web Services applications began to fail, including those that provide data and empower users to access the data. This has attracted AWS-based companies, including Amazon-owned Ring Security Camera Service, the iRobot Roomba vacuum application, services from design technology firm Autodesk, and news publishing systems such as The Washington Post, which is privately owned by the CEO of Amazon. Jeff Bezos.

AWS is the world’s largest cloud-based computing service provider, allowing customers to rent data storage and processing capabilities over the Internet instead of operating their own data centers. AWS, which competes against Microsoft and Google in providing cloud computing infrastructure, has become Amazon’s most profitable business.

According to market research firm Gartner, Amazon owned 45% of the global market in 2019. Diverse companies like Netflix, Kellogg and Airbnb run a significant portion of their computing operations on AWS. There’s also a price to pay for Amazon’s dominance: when its operation declines, they can take broadband out of the internet, as Wednesday’s shutdown showed.

Amazon’s closest cloud infrastructure competition, Microsoft, held 17.9% of the market last year, Gartner said.

As Amazon struggled to resolve the relegation, it provided little explanation.

“We’re working on a solution,” said Amazon Camarata, an Amazon spokesman.

A few hours after the shutdown, Amazon wrote on the AWS status page that “it has identified the root cause of the problem” and is working to resolve it.

By mid-afternoon on the East Coast, Amazon had updated its status report, saying “full recovery could take a few more hours.”

The shutdown appears to be limited to the collection of data centers run by Amazon that are scattered across several Virginia cities, according to the AWS status website. This data center clustering, called the “region” in cloud computing language use, the oldest in Amazon’s operation, was launched in 2006.

The effect of the omission was pretty much felt. Activation of the new account and the mobile application of the Roku streaming media service were hampered, even while the streaming service was still running on televisions, spokeswoman Tricia Mifsud said in an email. And Target-owned Shipt delivery service can receive and process some orders, although the outage “takes steps to manage capacity,” spokesman Danielle Schumann said in an email. Flickr’s photo storage service tweeted that customers couldn’t sign in or create an account due to an AWS shutdown.

Due to the AWS interruption, some features of the Ring security camera system, such as the ability to log in or watch video, have been eliminated, confirmed Ring spokesman Yassi Shahmiri. Amazon owns the Ring. IRobot tweeted that the AWS shutdown “is currently affecting our iRobot Home app,” which handles Roomba vacuum cleaners. He noted on the Autodesk Product Status website that the AWS shutdown “affected several services and applications of the design software company”.

News sites such as The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune also noted that the shutdown had an impact on their operations.

Amazon is best known for its huge ecommerce site. But AWS is the business that makes the most profit for Amazon. In the final quarter, AWS had sales of $ 11.6 billion, or 12 percent of the company’s total revenue, but $ 3.5 billion in operating revenue, or 57 percent of its profits.

Amazon pioneered cloud computing and launched AWS in 2006 to offer companies to perform their technical operations by running the company’s huge servers. The business helped technology startups who could rent the computing they needed instead of investing large sums to buy their own hardware and software. Later, larger companies turned to cloud computing as it proved its value.

Two years ago, due to a massive AWS shutdown, large chunks of the Internet, including Slack, Medium, and Quora, were shut down. This outage, which also affected the North Virginia region, was caused by human error when an employee misrepresented an order and took huge chunks off a system that knocked out AWS’s core storage service.

The most recent shutdown comes just a week before AWS’s annual conference, which will be held online this year, rather than in person in Las Vegas, where it usually occurs.