Amazon Web Services outage disrupts dozens of sites

A major Amazon Web Services outage disrupted access to numerous popular sites for several hours on Tuesday, including Prime, Disney+, Netflix and Ring, among others.

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Some services began coming back online sporadically just before 5 p.m. EST, following the more than six-hour outage.

Update 8:15 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Amazon Web Services issued a notice just before 8 p.m. Tuesday indicating that its “network device issues have been resolved” and that the company is working to recover “any impaired services.”

Update 6:47 p.m. EST Dec. 7: In a statement provided to CNBC, Amazon spokesperson Richard Rocha confirmed that the outage impacted the company’s warehouse and delivery operations,” noting that officials are “working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

The company did not immediately specify how many warehouses and delivery stations were affected by the outage.

According to CNBC, a notice sent to delivery drivers via Amazon Chime, an internal chat app, stated that the company was “currently monitoring a network-wide technical outage” impacting delivery operations.

“Should drivers be unable to continue delivering due to the outage, go to a nearby safe location and stand by,” the message continued.

Meanwhile, Samuel Caceres, an Amazon driver in Washington state, told the network that his delivery facility has been “at a standstill” since 8 a.m. PST and that drivers and warehouse workers had been on standby since then.

Update 6:35 p.m. EST Dec. 7: Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at Kentik Inc, a network intelligence firm, confirmed to The Associated Press that the issue arose midmorning on the U.S. East Coast at AWS’ largest data center.

Both Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Houson-based Southwest Airlines reported AWS-related interruptions, with the latter switching to West Coast servers as a workaround and avoiding major disruptions to flights.

According to the AP, airlines American, United, Alaska and JetBlue were unaffected by the outage, but DownDetector indicated services such as Instacart, Venmo, Kindle and Roku, as well as the McDonald’s app were not as fortunate.

“More and more these outages end up being the product of automation and centralization of administration,” Madory told the AP, adding, “This ends up leading to outages that are hard to completely avoid due to operational complexity but are very impactful when they happen.”

Meanwhile, Kentick experienced a 26% drop in traffic to Netflix, among other major web-based services affected by the outage, he said.

In an emailed response to questions from the AP, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency stated that it was working with Amazon “to understand any potential impacts this outage may have for federal agencies or other partners.”

Update 6:09 p.m. EST Dec. 7: By 6 p.m. the company reported “significant recovery” from the outage but continued to “closely monitor the health” of the affected network devices. Amazon did not disclose any additional details about the cause and did not provided a timeline for full recovery of services.

AWS provides cloud computing services to myriad governments, universities and private companies.

The news came too late, however, for many travelers temporarily stranded by the major outage.

Original report: A notice on Amazon Web Services’ status page identified the suspected root of the issue as a problem with its application programming interface, or API, as well as with the AWS Management Console, CNBC reported.

The issues impacted AWS’ main US-East-1 region hosted in Northern Virginia, meaning not all users experienced interruptions, the company confirmed.

The company later stated that an increase in traffic between specific internal services is causing network congestion between those devices, and that it is working to resolve the bottleneck.

According to Reuters, outage tracker Downdetector showed more than 24,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Amazon.

Other affected sites included, but were not limited to, Prime Video, messaging service Slack, mobile banking app Chime, robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot, stock trading app Robinhood and Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., as well as numerous in-house Amazon Warehouse tools, such as the Flex and AtoZ app, CNBC reported.

According to the network, the warehouse tool outage made it impossible to scan packages or access delivery routes.

In July, Amazon experienced a disruption in its online stores’ service that affected more than 38,000 users in only about two hours. Meanwhile, users have endured 27 Amazon-related outages during the past 12 months, Reuters reported, citing web tool reviewing website ToolTester.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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