Amazon S3 Outage Has Broken A Large Chunk Of The Internet – Forbes
Amazon is best known as an online retailer that sells just about anything you can think of. However, it also runs a massive web hosting service called Amazon S3, which stands for Simple Storage Service (a part of Amazon Web Services). A huge number of websites store content and run services with Amazon S3, and Amazon is currently reporting “high error rates.” That means a lot of things are broken.
When the problems started earlier today, Amazon’s status dashboard wasn’t even showing a problem. The company did manage to fix that after a few hours—it now says the issues stem from the US-EAST-1 region, which likely refers to the Amazon data center in the Ashburn, Virginia area. Services relying only upon S3 in other parts of the US and other regions around the world are not impacted.
Amazon S3 is used by more than 120,000 domains across the world. Some of the major sites and services affected by the outage include Quora, Giphy, Instagram, IMDb, American Airlines, Imgur, and Slack. In some cases entire sites are offline, but in others it’s just parts of the service. For example, Slack users can’t upload files to their group chats at the moment, but the chat still works. Amusingly, the outage tracking website Is It Down Right Now is down right now because of the S3 outage. A number of smart home devices that rely on S3 for parts of their functionality are also experiencing problems. So yes, your lights might not work because of a problem at Amazon’s data center. What a time to be alive.
For S3, we believe we understand root cause and are working hard at repairing. Future updates across all services will be on dashboard.
— Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) February 28, 2017
Amazon is providing updates on the situation via the Amazon Web Services Twitter account. In the early afternoon, Amazon reported that its engineers had identified the root cause of the outage, but offered no further information. There have been no apparent improvements in the state of S3 an hour after that announcement. Work to fix the problem continues. Until then, maybe take a walk.