Twice in the space of just over a week, Amazon Web Services experienced major outages.
“So what?” you could tell. Well, if you honestly ask this, your life is not very dependent on the services provided by the internet.
Amazon Web Services is Amazon’s web hosting affiliate. I know you’ve heard of Amazon. It is the very small company of which our good friend Jeffrey Bezos was the President and CEO, and is now only the Founder and Executive Chairman. Poor Jeff is only worth about $ 201.7 billion. I have to wonder if he was even informed of the outages.
One thing is certain: electronic devices are going to fail at some point. It’s one thing for your computer or iPad to stop working, but when a huge network of massive computers that make up a network decide they’re going to shut it down someday and stop working, it’s a whole other thing entirely. .
For some people, this is just a minor inconvenience which may seem like a big deal to them. Alexa devices are crashing, their Ring doorbell not working, or their inability to charge Netflix.
For thousands of Amazon warehouse workers, it was obvious when they were forced to stop working. And it came at a time when we were hoping to receive our Christmas presents on time, causing further delays. Some reports say these workers sang karaoke, danced, built full robotic suits from Amazon boxes, and played baseball in the parking lot. Concert difficult, but someone has to do it.
For even more companies, however, this meant that using cloud-based apps and software to perform day-to-day tasks reduced productivity and employees ended up sitting around doing nothing and still getting paid. A nice break for the employees but a financial impact for the employer. I personally know that in our company we were unable to access our time clock software because it was time to start calculating payroll. QuickBooks, our financial software, has stopped working, which means no billing or receiving payments. I can guarantee we didn’t sing, dance or play baseball. There were other more important tasks to accomplish.
Like the last time it happened just over a year ago, dozens of services have been shut down following the Amazon outage. Beyond Amazon’s own products like Alexa and Ring, millions of people, businesses and government agencies depend on Amazon’s widely used web hosting and cloud infrastructure.
Netflix, for example, uses AWS âfor almost all of its compute and storage needs, including databases, analytics, recommendation engines, video transcoding, and more. “, According to Amazon.
AWS customers include Netflix, Tinder, Nintendo, McDonald’s, Disney +, and Roku, all of which have experienced issues during the two outages in the past ten days or so. Amazon’s e-commerce site was down for some and its delivery drivers were unable to route deliveries.
It was, in short, a total mess and the result of a surprisingly large group of large companies relying entirely on Amazon for basic functionality.
While Amazon is best known for being the primary storefront for the internet, the company’s web services arm is a monster in its own right. Like most of Amazon’s businesses, AWS is the largest player in the cloud services market in the United States. It continues to beat competition from Microsoft and Google, among others, and generates more than $ 40 billion in annual revenue for the company.
A critical part of why AWS has been so successful, and why so many businesses depend on it, is that Amazon was one of the first companies to invest in cloud computing services.
For companies like Netflix, AWS may have been the only viable option when cloud services were required over a decade ago.
Although Amazon has a variety of different server clusters in the United States, the outages were specific to a data center that affected the “eastern region of the United States,” said Amazon, which is located in Virginia. , and Americans across the country have been affected.
After the first outage, Amazon said it had “fixed the problem” and services were back to normal. Until the second last Wednesday.
The question in my mind is not if, but when is the big bang going to strike? When will we be totally helpless and for how long?