If you were not aware of how much we rely on the cloud infrastructure to do the simple things we do every day such as online shopping, streaming movies, playing online games, using social media, running your home security system etc. then you probably do now after the recent Amazon Web Services outage that affected millions of people across the country on December 7th.
AWS is Amazon’s cloud platform and is uses by many large companies to run their services and store their data. If you were to look on the AWS status page, you would see that Amazon posted that they were “investigating increased error rates for the AWS Management Console and later posted “While we have observed some early signs of recovery, we do not have an ETA for full recovery.”
If you are an Amazon customer and logged out of your account, you most likely saw the error that said “internal error” when you tried to log back in even though the Amazon site appeared to be up. The outage began later in the morning on the East Coast.
AWS is also used by many government agencies as well as universities across the country so having downtime in unacceptable for these entities. Amazon also had issues with their delivery drivers being cut off and not knowing where to go as well as warehouse robots getting confused as well. This delayed delivery during the busiest part of the year when everyone is ordering their holiday goods online.
By about 2PM EST, the outages were about at half of what they were earlier in the day and by about 6:30, things were pretty much back to normal.
This outage shows how vulnerable we are when it comes to the technology we rely on for our daily routines. Hopefully Amazon learned something from this as well and will work on improving their redundancy procedures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.