Amazon Claims A Large Cloud Outage

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  • Amazon.com Inc. said automated processes in its cloud computing business caused cascading outages across the internet this week, affecting everything from Disney amusement parks and Netflix videos to robot vacuums and Adele ticket sales.
  • The problems began at about 10:30 a.m. New York time on Dec. 7 and lasted several hours before Amazon managed to fix the problem.
  • Some experts said the explanation doesn’t help users fully understand what went wrong.
  • Amazon’s cloud division last suffered a major incident in 2017, when an employee accidentally turned off more servers than intended during repairs of a billing system.

Automated procedures at Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud computing business caused cascading outages throughout the internet this week, affecting everything from Disney amusement parks and Netflix videos to robot vacuums and Adele ticket sales, according to the company as reported by Bloomberg.

Abnormal act

Amazon said in a statement on Friday that the incident started on December 7 when an automated computer programme meant to make its network more reliable ended up causing a “significant number” of its systems to act abnormally.

As a result, there was a rush of activity on Amazon’s networks, preventing users from accessing several of the company’s cloud services.

“Their internal controls and monitoring systems were taken offline by the storm of traffic produced by the original fault,” the outage continued.

In a highly technical explanation released online, Amazon explained the issue.

The issues began at 10:30 a.m. New York time on Dec. 7 and lasted for many hours before Amazon was able to resolve the issue.

Sudden outage

According to some experts, the answer does not entirely explain what went wrong.

“They don’t describe what this strange behaviour was, and they have no idea what it was.” So they had to guess when trying to correct it, which is why it took so long,” Corey Quinn, cloud economist at Duckbill Group, explained.

AWS is a dependable service in general. The last major incident involving Amazon’s cloud division occurred in 2017 when an employee mistakenly shut off more servers than expected during billing system repairs. Nonetheless, the current outage served as a reminder to the world that many products and services are concentrated in shared data centres controlled by a small number of large digital corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Cloud computing providers

There is no simple solution to the issue. Some analysts suggest that businesses should duplicate their services among numerous cloud computing providers so that they are not disrupted by a single outage. Others argue that a “multi-cloud” model is unworkable and might make businesses even more vulnerable by exposing them to all failures, not just AWS’.

“We know this occurrence had a substantial impact on many consumers,” the corporation wrote in a jargon-filled statement. “We’ll do everything we can to learn from this situation and apply what we’ve learned to increase our availability even more.”

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Source: Bloomberg

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