What is AWS Outage

Outage refers to an interruption in any work. Sometimes you refer to it as a "blackout" in electricity. Similarly, AWS Outage refers to the interruption in the AWS cloud platform services, which badly impacted AWS services with data loss. Many of you heard about AWS Outage, and many media channels reported on it. It was a great loss to Amazon AWS. But you should know the reason for which AWS Outage actually happened and how it was resolved quickly.

This blog has covered some critical aspects of Amazon S3, the AWS Outage issue, and its fixation. It will give you the perfect reason for the AWS outage with clarity. 

What is Amazon S3?

Amazon Web Services offers Amazon S3. which is also called as Amazon Simple Storage Service to store and secure large amounts of data. This data is stored for multiple purposes, such as websites, mobile apps, etc. Further, Amazon S3 allows you to store and recover the required amount of data anytime and anywhere, which is highly scalable and secure.

What is the AWS Outage?

AWS Outage is the interruption in the service that occurred within the AWS Cloud Platform. This interruption impacted Amazon Web Services badly, losing vast amounts of data. In other words, an AWS Outage can be described as a temporary loss of connectivity to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. It generally occurs when there is an issue with one or more than one AWS services. Further, it can cause multiple issues, such as losing data, interruption in accessing AWS resources, customer data, developing or deploying apps, etc.

There can be many reasons for the AWS outage, but it occurred due to technical issues with the AWS services. When it occurs, AWS typically sends an alert to the users and tries to resolve it quickly.

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How did the interruption occur?

The AWS Outage happened in February 2017 in the region of Northern Virginia. A team of experts in Amazon was working on some technical issues within AWS S3. Then, while doing so, a team member entered a wrong command in the console, which interrupted the AWS services and caused huge data loss. Due to this issue, the outage affected multiple regions. These include America's Northern Virginia, East Ashburn, and other global areas of Asia and Europe.

Many of us think that this is just a tiny mistake and can be reverted by editing the command line. But this was not just a small mistake that wiped out everything for some time.
This minor issue has abolished massive server data supporting S3 subsystems. Moreover, it was unintentionally triggered while working on an issue on Amazon's internal network system. Thus, AWS downtime has changed everything for some time.

What happened with the AWS Outage?

After the AWS Outage, the two subsystems of Amazon S3 supported by the server went down. Here, one S3 subsystem maintains the metadata and the information related to the location of the data source. Another subsystem maintains the data related to the distribution of new storage objects. One after another, both subsystems were down after the outage occurred in AWS. Apart from these, one more essential region was based on the S3 systems. It was also severely impacted by the AWS downtime. Due to this outage, the S3 system was down, and it could not respond to several service requests as the S3 APIs were unavailable.

It also interrupted several other services provided by AWS on a global level. Thus, massive cloud-computing services were shut down after the AWS downtime. While writing a post, the company mentioned that an automation service of one of the multiple AWS services scaling the service capacity started interrupted behavior across the client services on Amazon's internal network. Therefore, the devices connected to AWS and Amazon's internal networks got an oversupply of data. Finally, the AWS S3 services went down and stopped working.

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Services Affected

With the AWS Outage, most of the services offered by Amazon Web Services were affected. Due to the sudden system failure, both S3 subsystems required restarting to recover the lost data. Also, it was a time-consuming task.

Not only Amazon S3 customers were affected after this outage. But also, several other essential services of AWS were severely affected. These services include Amazon CloudWatch, Simple Email Service, API Gateway, DynamoDB, and Route 53. EC2, Amazon Connect, etc. Most AWS services were ultimately hampered, creating some errors while functioning. Then, the team started planning to fix things and data recovery.

The Impact of the AWS Outage

The company mentioned in its reports that it had experienced many issues with the AWS services from multiple regions. Among them, some companies and entities were severely impacted by the outage. These include airline companies, news agencies, restaurants, government agencies, Google, Spotify, and several banking organizations were also impacted.

Moreover, DownDetector said that people who tried to use apps like Instacart, Kindle, Disney+, and Netflix, reported problems. Among them, the fast-food brand McDonald's was also down. But several other American airline companies, like JetBlue, Alaska, etc., remain unaffected by this outage. Thus, the AWS outage only impacted a few companies and services out of the bundle of services.

How does Amazon Solve It?

Amazon mentioned that they had designed a system that could work despite the biggest failure. Moreover, they admitted that the S3 subsystem still needed to be fully ready due to remaining offline for a long time. Therefore, Amazon started rewriting the entire code by modifying earlier tools. It is done so their engineers and other professionals avoid committing the same mistake. Also, they started conducting safety checks and verifications throughout the system to prevent such issues.

After several hours of continuous hard work, Amazon recovered all the lost data. Further, it apologized to all its customers and clients for the inconvenience caused to them.

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Lessons got from the AWS outage.

1. What has AWS learned from this outage?

After this outage/downtime, AWS mentioned that they had learned so many things from this issue. They concluded that they needed to execute communications with customers in a better way regarding various operational problems. Also, they mentioned that they will keep their customers from losing their service/data. They said they had plans to upgrade the systems and were working on fixing some issues and bugs. Also, they said that they are working on network-level issues to prevent any upcoming huge problems like this. They further mentioned that they will improve the systems and their availability in the upcoming days.

2. What can we learn from this AWS outage?

The company already mentioned what they can do further, but coming to our part, what can we do? Not all services a service provider offers go smoothly forever. Further, we can rely on the points mentioned by a few people regarding a service; we should analyze ourselves. Also, extreme reliability can only come from the efforts and cost we put into action. The improvement may cost many times more than the earlier one. Further, performance optimization can be simplified by balancing Site reliability engineering works and optimizing maximization. These are the things we can learn from this outage issue.


Thus, this is all about the AWS outage and its recovery. However, it happened so many times in the history of Amazon, and they rectified it. We hope you have gone through the entire blog and got all the answers regarding AWS downtime and its related issues. Now, AWS S3 has no service-related issues, and they are also ready to resolve within a short time if any issue occurs. Stay tuned to this space for more insights on AWS and its related services.

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As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.

The AWS services went down due to severe problems in the S3 subsystems caused due to error in the command. It impacted several AWS Services globally.

The AWS Outage affected many online services Amazon provided and several organizations. These include Netflix, Disney+, DoorDash, American Airlines, Google, and Spotify.

There are many risks associated with Cloud Outage. It can interrupt many customer services and also causes a severe loss of revenue and sales in the market.

There are multiple reasons that companies are moving towards AWS to improve their business. These benefits include high scalability, better data security and compliance, low latency rate, data recovery with minimal spending, and more.