Over 150,000 websites, including s lot of high profile ones, went offline on Tuesday due to a problem at one of Amazon’s data centers.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) lets small business firms or companies rent cloud servers for hosting their data without having to buy physical servers. This saves cost and is easy to manage as well.
Given its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, it was therefore alarming that the service developed a fault and affected many sites yesterday. The issue affected the Simple Storage Service (S3) of AWS. According to Amazon, the S3 is designed to deliver “99.999999999% durability.”
AWS reported high error rates with S3 when the problem started at its North Virginia site at around 11:45 am Pacific Time on Tuesday. The status page of AWS said, ”We are investigating increased error rates for Amazon S3 requests in the US-EAST-1 Region”.
The issue was reported as “resolved” at 2:08 pm Pacific Time and Amazon reported the S3 service was operating normally.
The company, despite repeated requests, did not reveal the cause behind the issue.
Quora, SoundCloud and ESPN affected
Many sites such as Quora (an online Q&A forum, similar to Yahoo Answers), Trello (productivity monitoring site) and others went down. Slack, a workplace communication tool was also affected.
SimilarTech.com, a website which profiles other websites reported that ESPN.com and aol.com were also affected. Daniel Buchuk, marketing director at SimilarTech said,
A big part of the internet isn’t working how it should right now because of this outage. Nearly 1 percent of the biggest sites on the web are using it, including popular domains like SoundCloud, Quora, Giphy and Slack.
More Than 150,000 Sites Use This Service
In total, around 150,000 sites across the world were affected by this problem. Most of these sites and services were centered around the US.
AWS is used by a lot of big name companies like Netflix, Spotify and Airbnb. These services did not go down like Quora or Trello but their users complained about slowdowns and performance issues.
Securities and Exchange Commission of US was also among the affected. Even though most of the websites and services affected by this issue are now up and running, CloudTrail, Config, and Lambda are still down.
Given how essential AWS has become to many online services, it is hoped that Amazon does the needful and ensures that a similar episode does not occur again.