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Amazon cloud outage downs vast swathes of the internet

As much as there are many advantages of using a massive cloud infrastructure for your website, when that service crashes, it can take a lot of the internet with it. Take yesterday’s downing of Amazon’s S3 cloud service, which pulled down a lot of popular websites and services. Ironically enough, including the isitdownrightnow.com website.

Amazon’s web services are one of the more popular cloud platforms available to website owners the world over and it’s a service taken up by many of the world’s largest content platforms. Those were all hit with outages when Amazon’s service was downed, leading to sites like Trello, IFTTT, Quora, the AVClub, Flippa and many others all being unavailable for extended periods.

Although the outage first hit in late afternoon yesterday, it wasn’t until around 10:30 PM that Amazon posted the following update:

“We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard […] We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.”

This was followed by a further update just after midnight, which informed affected customers that all services had now returned to normal and that all websites should be working once again.

While that does seem to be the case, one of the more interesting outages as part of this service interruption was in cloud-connected hardware. Internet of Things devices like smart lights, alarms and even in one case, a front gate (thanks Ars) were all affected by the outage, leading to reduced or in some cases, halts to those services.

This shows the potential problems faced when you have over a million users supported by a single cloud infrastructure. Although it should be proof to most outages, when they happen the effects are far reaching.

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KitGuru Says: KitGuru isn’t hosted with Amazon, so our site kept on ticking on as usual, but were any of your favourite sites affected? What about your IoT devices?

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