Amazon Web Services suffers another outage

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Amazon.com Inc.

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The cloud computing unit suffered another outage on Wednesday, at least the third this month, causing disruption in other businesses and highlighting how far-reaching effects regional digital infrastructure issues can have.

Amazon Web Services said it began investigating connectivity issues around 7:35 a.m. ET for some servers in its region US-East-1, which is hosted in Northern Virginia and covers cities like Boston, Houston and Chicago.

Within an hour or so, AWS said on its Status Dashboard that it had started making progress in restoring power.

“We have now restored power to all instances and network devices in the affected data center,” AWS said on its site at 8:39 a.m. ET, although the problems persisted at least until early after. midday.

Amazon reported a second app issue in the same cloud installation around noon and a third mid-afternoon.

Amazon did not respond to questions about the number of users affected by the outages.

“Large-scale outages are definitely more common,” said Eric Dynowski, managing partner at IT services company Deft. What is not clear, he said, is whether they relate to Amazon’s struggles to cope with rapid growth or staffing issues.

Downdetector, a site that tracks website outages, showed companies such as Coinbase Global Inc.

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, Hulu, and Slack encountered issues.

A spokesperson for Coinbase said the AWS outage caused delays in some cryptocurrency transactions through its app and website. The problems lasted for about 20 minutes, she said.

Slack said on its status page At 7:58 a.m. ET he was having problems with the services, including downloading files and editing messages. Slack said mid-afternoon that the issue had been resolved.

Hulu did not respond to a request for comment.

The disruption comes after Amazon suffered a multi-hour outage earlier this month that took many businesses and services offline. The cloud computing unit suffered a second outage last week, but its life was much shorter.

Cloud industry officials say blackouts have always been common, but as these services have become more central to the global economy and the way people live, they have become more visible.

AWS is the largest cloud computing provider in the United States. The service allows customers, including many large enterprises, to lease computing, storage and network capacity. Businesses and consumers are increasingly dependent on cloud computing services as the pandemic has forced people to work from home.

“The more AWS grows, the more the world depends on it,” Elias Khnaser, chief research officer at cloud-based research firm EK Media Group.

Wednesday’s issues were related to Amazon’s largest and oldest cloudy region on the east coast. This installation frequently appears to be the cause of some of the recent outages, industry officials said.

“We’ll only see more failures like this in the future, potentially with an even bigger blast radius,” said James Devine, vice president of product management Aviatrix Systems Inc., a supplier networking software to help organizations manage their clouds across multiple vendors.

Increasingly, the cloud customers he advises are looking for ways to build resiliency in the way they use the cloud, by using multiple vendors or by running their software in multiple regions from a single cloud vendor, though. that this introduces complexity and costs.

Supplier diversification only mitigates disruption to a certain extent. There are only a few major cloud platforms that businesses can choose from, and disruption isn’t unique to Amazon, IT specialists note. Microsoft Corp.

had its own blackout this month.

Write to Omar Abdel-Baqui at omar.abdel-baqui@wsj.com

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