Portions of Amazon Web Services, which is the world’s largest cloud computing company, went offline Tuesday afternoon, affected multiple companies across the United States but especially on the east coast.
The outage appeared to have begun around 12:45 pm ET. It was cantered in AWS’ S3 storage system on the east coast. Many of the services that firms use AWS are for back-end processes, and therefore not immediately visible to consumers, though the outage could disrupt customer-facing activities like logins and payments.
Shedloads of websites crashed and burned including Airbnb, Down Detector, Freshdesk, Pinterest, SendGrid, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, Time, Buffer, Business Insider, Chef, Citrix, CNBC, Codecademy, Coursera, Cracked, Docker, Expedia, Expensify, Giphy, Heroku, Home Chef, iFixit, IFTTT, isitdownrightnow.com, Lonely Planet, Mailchimp, Medium, Microsoft’s HockeyApp, News Corp, Quora, Razer, Slack, Sprout Social, Travis CI, Trello, Twilio, Unbounce, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Zendesk.
The dashboard of Amazon Web Services, which tracks the status of the service, is unable to change colour, Amazon said. It is because the status dashboard also runs on the service that is down.
While the spectacular crash might not have effected many European companies, it does make cloud packages where data is sent across the pond look a lot less reliable. Interest in cloud packages and SAAS is picking up, but huge outages like this make it a harder sale.