The massive four-hour outage of Amazon Cloud service at their AWS cloud computing division disrupted thousands of websites across the United States.
The consumers might not be familiar that Amazon other than their great shopping site also provides plenty of other services. Amazon Web Service is one such trademark; it works as a back-end of the internet for several sites like Spotify, Netflix, Buzzfeed, Pinterest and many thousands of other small sites. It gives them storage in the form of cloud-based and web services to the companies, so they don’t have to spend on building their own servers. The businesses can later deploy computing algorithms without investing in any of the back-end infrastructures.
For instance, a company can store images, videos, and databases on Amazon’s AWS servers and then access it from any location via internet.
After a significant portion of AWS S3 system had gone offline for 4 hours on Tuesday afternoon, some websites experienced slowdowns, while some of them weren’t affected. Amazon itself was also affected; they weren’t able to update their service health dashboard for two long hours as it was hosted by AWS.
A Cloud Analyst from Forrester, Dave Bartoletti said “AWS had not had a lot of outages and when they happen, they’re famous. People still talk about the one in September of 2015 that lasted five hours.”
According to SimilarTech, a market research firm, the S3 system that went down is used by almost 148,123 websites. It stores plenty of data, which is almost equal to “north of three to four trillion pieces of data stored in it.”
The most common cause of disruption is a software-related issue. It’s either a bug in the code written by developers or human error, Lydia Leong said after the outage. She is a cloud analyst with Gartner.
The system that went offline was the first amongst the three AWS regions in the US. It is one of the largest and also where AWS rolls out all its new updates.
AWS, which initially began as a sideline to Amazon’s main online shopping website, is now a major player in the United States. The AWS division generates higher revenues for Amazon. In the last quarter of the year 2016, the AWS division made 8 percent of Amazon’s total profit.
AWS S3 is used by both small and large businesses. If there’s no S3, there won’t be any fancy logos or pictures on their client’s website. The customers will not be able to access their data.
The apps and websites were back to normal once the AWS S3 division was back online.