Cyber Security

Much Of The Internet Unusable With Amazon Storage Outage

Victims are far-ranging, including Amazon itself

Cyber Security
Photo Illustration: Diana Quach
Feb 28, 2017 at 4:41 PM ET

An untold number of websites and online services stopped working Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a still-unexplained outage at Amazon Web Services.

Amazon, the online retail giant, also runs an enormous cloud computing operation, one responsible for a full tenth of the company’s revenue. AWS clients run from countless small businesses and independent operations to huge online outfits like Netflix, Adobe, and Samsung, as well as portions of Vocativ’s own infrastructure, resulting in this story taking a little longer to publish than it should have.

Among the largest of Amazon’s cloud hosting services is Simple Storage Service, or Amazon S3. At 2:17 p.m., the company announced S3 was experiencing “high error rates,” though it seemed more like a total outage. The reasoning for the error is still unknown as of this writing.

Victims are far-ranging, and include Amazon itself. AWS’s own dashboard, which customers see when they log in to the service, was affected. So was, remarkably, at least one speaker as he tried to give a presentation at AWSome Day, a single-day presentation about AWS that happened to be held on Tuesday.

Other sites rendered unusable by the outage included news site Business Insider, services including Trello and Slack, a reported range of internet-connected devices, and isitdownrightnow.com, the popular site for checking whether a website is operational. Counterpart downforeveryoneorjustme.com, however, was spared.