AWS Cloud service goes down impacting several businesses

Following a significant disruption on Tuesday that impacted websites such as the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Boston Globe, Amazon.com announced that its cloud services offered through Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been restored.
AWS event for CIOsSeveral hours after reports of outages surfaced on Downdetector.com, Amazon confirmed that the issue has been resolved and all AWS Services are now operating normally. This incident highlighted the growing reliance on Amazon’s Lambda service, particularly in the internet age, as it plays a critical role for companies across various sectors, from transportation to financial services.

Research conducted by cloud company Datadog in the past year revealed that over half of cloud-operating organizations utilize Lambda or similar “serverless” technologies. The number of outage reports on Downdetector significantly decreased from over 12,000 to under 700 as the day progressed.

Although the disruption appeared to be smaller in terms of duration and impact compared to a major 2017 outage of Amazon’s data-hosting service, Amazon S3, it still affected AWS’s own web page at one point, hindering access to information about the disruptions.

Amazon identified the root cause as an issue with a subsystem responsible for capacity management for AWS Lambda, resulting in errors for customers directly and indirectly affecting other AWS services. AWS Lambda is a service that enables customers to run computer programs without the need for server management.

The outage also had repercussions on services like the U.S. securities regulator’s EDGAR system, Southwest Airlines, the Verge, and AP for Students. Delta Air Lines acknowledged website problems but did not confirm if they were related to the AWS outage. United Airlines reported minimal impact on its operations, stating that they were unaffected overall.

In addition to the AWS disruptions, other Amazon services such as Amazon Music and Alexa were also affected, as reported by Downdetector. Amazon’s previous major outage occurred in December 2021, temporarily impacting streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, Robinhood, and Amazon’s own e-commerce website, just before the Christmas season.

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