Amazon Web Services outage interrupts package deliveries

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Many popular websites were also down for a time on Tuesday

An outage at Amazon’s “Amazon Web Services” (AWS) cloud services on Tuesday interrupted internet traffic for a time, but the residual effect will be a slowdown in Amazon’s precise package delivery schedule.

In addition to taking down popular websites, streaming services, and gaming platforms, the outage affected the app that Amazon’s delivery personnel use to move orders from the online retail giant. 

Amazon has not yet commented on the outage, but various media reports cite delivery service partners who say the outage blocked drivers from getting delivery instructions and interrupted communications within the system. According to Bloomberg, Amazon Flex drivers could not log into the Amazon app to pick up assignments.

AWS reported the problem on its dashboard at 9:37 a.m. (PST), saying that it was “seeing impact to multiple AWS APIs in the US-EAST-1 Region. This issue is also affecting some of our monitoring and incident response tooling, which is delaying our ability to provide updates. We have identified the root cause and are actively working towards recovery.”

By 4:35 p.m. (PST) it reported the issues had been resolved. “We will provide additional updates for impaired services within the appropriate entry in the Service Health Dashboard,” the company said.

“Bethany,” who says she works at an Amazon facility, reported on Twitter Wednesday morning that operations were back to normal at her location. Her Twitter feed gives a running account of how the outage interrupted operations, including a video showing a line of Amazon trucks parked along a road.

Many websites were down 

DownDetecrtor, which monitors interruptions in internet traffic, reported that the outage originated in the eastern U.S. on Tuesday morning. The list of sites that were affected reads like a who’s who of the internet.

At one point, some users were unable to access Netflix, Disney+, Robinhood, and other popular websites. Amazon services were also affected. In some homes, Alexa was suddenly silent, Roomba took a break from house cleaning, and Ring stopped monitoring who was at the door.

According to AWS, the cause of the outage was “increased error rates.” While engineers worked to correct the problem, affected customers were redirected to servers that were operating normally.

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