Yesterday, on 28th February, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud service that hosts data for thousands of websites and applications suffered a technical disruption. Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, or Amazon S3, had difficulty sending and receiving clients’ data for about 4 hours.
The outage affected multiple companies across the United States, especially on the east coast. While not all AWS clients were affected by the outage at one of AWS’s main storage systems, some experienced slowdowns, after a big portion of its S3 system went offline Tuesday afternoon.
Amazon Web Services is a giant provider of the back-end of the Internet. For sites like Netflix, Spotify, Pinterest and Buzzfeed, as well as thousands of smaller sites, it provides cloud-based storage and web services so the companies do not have to build their own server farms. This allows companies to rapidly deploy computing power without having to invest in infrastructure.
Amazon was reportedly unable to update its own service health dashboard for the first two hours of the outage because the dashboard itself was hosted on AWS. Amazon said that its cloud service was affected by the partial failure of a hosting platform, affecting a number of Internet services and media outlets.
It has been reported that no huge-name websites have been impacted so far, but with a large number of smaller businesses using Amazon’s services, the effects of the outage have been widespread.