Eleven-hour outage hits S3 Storage, used by nearly 150,000 websites.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

March 1, 2017

3 Min Read
AWS S3 Goes Down, Internet Snow Day Declared

Amazon Web Services is recovered from "high error rates" and outages due to disruption to its S3 simple storage service used by nearly 150,000 websites, including Netflix, Airbnb and Slack, as well as a little site you may have heard of called Light Reading.

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) reported the problem as fully resolved around 1:49 p.m. PST Tuesday, after an 11-hour outage.

During the outage, the Internet panicked and the world ended.

"Due to the #AWS outage and it's impact to Snapchat & other popular apps, millions of millennials just looked up for the first time in years," quipped Peter Ghosh, self-described "IT infrastructure advisor, dreamer & trainee standup comedian."

Showing there is some justice in the universe, Amazon Web Services Inc. 's own status dashboard was among the sites struck by the outage, as the icons used on the control panel are stored in AWS, and they showed up as green when they should have been red. "The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates," Amazon said.

Also struck by the outage: downdetector.com, which couldn't report Internet site outages because of an outage at the Internet site it relies on to report outages.

The lesson for business: Don't put all your eggs in one basket, or all your business workloads in one cloud, says Cloud Foundry CTO Chip Childers. "Today's S3 crash will inevitably cost businesses millions of dollars. This is why all businesses need a multi-cloud strategy so they can adapt immediately when, inevitably, one of their cloud vendors experiences a failure. It's not Amazon's fault, it's inevitable," he said in an email statement.

The AWS outage is Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s cash cow coughing. Amazon reported net sales for AWS of $3.5 billion for the quarter ending December 31, up a beefy 47% year-over-year, with annual sales of $12.2 billion, up 55% year-over-year, the company said in its quarterly earnings early this month. (See AWS Growth Slows, But Amazon's Still Killing It in Cloud.)

But the stock market shrugged off the outage. Amazon stock traded at $845.04 after hours Tuesday, down 0.13% after hours and 0.42 during the day.

Want to know more about the cloud? Visit Light Reading Enterprise Cloud.

Amazon accounts for 40% of global public cloud market, according to a report from Synergy Research Group. (See AWS Maintains Its Public Cloud Dominance. )

Some 148,000 websites use S3, according to a report from SimilarTech.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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