Amazon says it's making progress in fixing cloud outage causing online disruptions

Angel Gonzalez, The Seattle Times on

Published in Business News

SEATTLE -- said it is making progress as it works to restore service after a lengthy outage on its cloud storage service that wrought widespread disruption in online services Tuesday.

In an alert on the Amazon Web Services service health dashboard, the tech giant's cloud computing unit said that it was "seeing recovery" in the operations of the data storage service affected by the outage. Users, AWS said, should "expect to start seeing improved error rates within the hour."

Earlier, AWS had said that it was "working hard at repairing S3," which is how the data storage service is known, and that it believed it had spotted the "root cause" of the problem.

The company hasn't divulged its theory as to what caused the outage, but it has pointed to the geographic origin of the issue. On its AWS status page, Seattle-based Amazon identified a data center location on the U.S. East Coast that was seeing "high error rates" in the storage service that in turn were hampering other AWS functions. The AWS status report page showed error alerts for some of the company's email, office and computing power services operating out of servers in Northern Virginia.

Reactions to the outage quickly spread on Twitter. The Harvard Business Review said its website was "temporarily down due to the AWS outage."

The disruption underscores Amazon's central role in the smooth functioning of an increasingly internet-reliant economy. While companies once had to operate facilities with private servers, nowadays many have chosen to pay Amazon and other cloud giants to store their data and even their computing processes. Cloud providers tout their server warehouses as safe and reliable.

AWS is, by far, the largest cloud provider.

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