Amazon Web Services Errors Disrupt Big Part of the InternetBy
After ‘high error rates,’ company says S3 service back online
Various customers hosting software, web applications affected
Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud-computing service was beset by errors on Tuesday, disrupting thousands of online services from project-management and expense-reporting tools to commuter alerts.
Amazon Web Services reported "high error rates" with its S3 service, which it describes as a "simple storage solution" that can be used to house data, manage web applications and host software that customers can download via the internet. S3 is used by nearly 150,000 websites, including ESPN.com and aol.com, according to SimilarTech.com, which profiles sites.
"A big part of the internet isn’t working how it should right now because of this outage," said Daniel Buchuk, marketing director with SimilarTech. "Nearly 1 percent of the biggest sites on the web are using it, including popular domains like SoundCloud, Quora, Giphy and Slack."
Amazon worked on the problem throughout Tuesday and said on its website at 2:08 p.m. Seattle time that S3 was operating normally.
AWS is the company’s fastest-growing and most profitable division, generating $3.5 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter. It’s the biggest cloud-services provider, with data centers around the world that handle the computing power for many large companies, such as Netflix Inc. and Capital One Corp. Amazon and competitors Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. are growing their cloud computing businesses as customers find it more efficient to shift their data storage and computer functions to the cloud rather than maintaining those functions on their own. The shift also increases the likelihood that problems with one service can have sweeping ramifications online.
Atlassian Corp. reported that AWS disruptions caused problems with its online project management tool Trello and employee communications tool HipChat. Expensify Inc. attributed problems with its expense reporting system to the AWS errors. Metra, a commuter rail system in Chicago, alerted riders the AWS problems would affect its electronic service updates. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also said its cloud provider was working to resolve a web page-loading issue.
Amazon shares fell a fraction of a percent to $845.04 in New York. Shares are up 13 percent this year.