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Amazon Explains The Reason For Massive AWS Outage

Amazon AWS Outage

Amazon released a statement regarding the massive AWS cloud outage that caused major problems with many services earlier this week. A standard procedure had triggered an unexpected chain reaction.

The extent to which numerous providers are dependent on cloud services such as Amazon’s AWS was recently shown again by a massive failure of numerous offers such as Ring, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. But Amazon deliveries were also affected. Now Amazon has published a transparency report to explain what actually happened.

Broad Failure

The outage began at around 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday morning. The affected region was US-EAST-1, which ensures connectivity for people and companies in the northeastern part of the USA. As a result, the streaming services from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Roku, as well as the Ring devices, were immediately affected and no longer accessible. Users had shared the problems mainly via social media and reported that they could not connect to their cameras.

Around the same time, employees from Amazon delivery services announced on Reddit that they could no longer access internal apps that are needed to scan packages, access delivery routes, or display upcoming appointments.

Amazon says:

On Tuesday morning, an automated activity to scale the capacity of one of the AWS services hosted on the AWS main network triggered unexpected behavior from a large number of clients within the internal network,” said Amazon in a summary of the incident.

This created a large wave of interconnection activity that overwhelmed network equipment between the internal network and the main AWS network, causing delays in communication between those networks.

These delays increased latency and errors in services communicating between these networks, leading to even more connection attempts and retries. This resulted in persistent congestion and performance problems on the devices connecting the two networks.

Not an isolated case

This chain reaction was relatively easy (and quick) to bring it back under control. However, the connected customers and thus the services of the AWS cloud were affected. The new AWS outage is not an isolated incident. In recent years there have been several similar major events that disrupted the AWS service so massively that numerous online services were offline.