AWS Outage Slows Amazon Warehouse Operations, Kills Websites


AWS stores and serves a large portion of the Internet.

Angela Lang / CNET

Amazon workers report in social media posts that the company’s warehouses are at a standstill as it struggles to resolve an Amazon Web Services outage, leaving workers with little to do but hang around or, apparently, singing karaoke. The outage also took down several major websites and apps for some people on Tuesday.

The service, also known as AWS, stores and serves much of the Internet, including websites and apps for Disney Plus, Robinhood, Barclays, and Slack. Down Detector has noted outages with the Ring, Prime Music, Alexa, and Chime services. TicketMaster, Google, McDonald’s, Venmo, Cash App, and My Social Security, an online accounts portal with the United States Social Security Administration, were also among the services that all posted outages starting around 11:00 a.m. , eastern time.

Web site outages have been reported in cities across the United States. Amazon’s internal systems appeared to be affected across the country, according to social media comments from dozens of people who say they work for the company.

Amazon spokesman Richard Rocha confirmed the outage and its impact on Amazon’s own operations. “There is an AWS service event in the US East (Virginia) region affecting Amazon Operations and other customers with resources operating from that region,” Rocha said in a statement. “The AWS team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

Some customers have taken to Twitter to complain about Ring Doorbells and Cameras not working. In response to a message from Ring’s customer service team saying Amazon was investigating the issue, a Twitter user said, “That doesn’t help. I need a working doorbell.”

Other Twitter users said they were tricked by Ring alarm systems that could not be turned off.

And others joked about their reliance on apps to do things they could use their hands for, like turning off an Alexa alarm on the physical device.

Down Detector showed a peak of more than 11,000 outage reports for sites managed by AWS late in the morning EDT Tuesday. Although progress was made in reducing that number, outages persisted for hours later.

On Reddit and Twitter, people who claim to be Amazon employees posted comments and videos about the complete shutdown of operations due to non-functioning internal systems. Several workers wrote that they were singing karaoke or by reading their phone for while waiting for systems to come back online. Vice spoke to delivery companies that contracted with Amazon and said their drivers were unable to connect to Amazon systems make deliveries Tuesday morning.

On an AWS status page to monitor system activity, Amazon noted issues Tuesday morning from a Virginia facility affecting its US-EAST-1 region. The issues have affected several AWS products used by businesses to run their websites and applications, as well as some used by Amazon itself.

The dashboard indicated that the company was troubleshooting shortly after the outage reports arrived. In the evening, the company said it still saw some of its departments “severely” affected. “Many services have already recovered,” the update says, “but we are working on a full recovery of all services.”


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