If you tried to make a purchase today during Amazon’s annual Prime Day, you may have seen this message:
Minutes into the made-up Amazon holiday, users began reporting that they were unable to make purchases on the platform. Amazon, which was predicting record sales for this year’s event, was apparently unable to handle the mass amount of traffic the sale generated. That’s bad news for Amazon if they’re using their own Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud server platform, which boasts the ability to scale for just such an event. But worse, the problem seems to have actually spread to AWS. Down Detector noted the outage:
Some of the comments from the Down Detector website:
Many Twitter users also highlighted problems with AWS today:
@mandrillapp We are seeing timeouts on API calls from our servers in the AWS us-east region. The status page shows all green, is this an outage? ticket#502026
— Radu Tutueanu (@RaduTutueanu) July 16, 2018
AWS are having a Management Console outage but at least I can look at pictures of dogs on their error page
— Kevin Hooke (@kevinhooke) July 16, 2018
Holy cow, AWS’s S3 console is even throwing errors. Prime Day is taking out bystanders. pic.twitter.com/92SAueclJ9
— Brent Ozar (@BrentO) July 16, 2018
— Kunal Sharma (@ksharma04) July 16, 2018
It wasn’t until after 5 p.m. EST that Amazon finally acknowledged the problem, though they didn’t provide a lot of details:
“We are currently experiencing intermittent errors accessing the AWS Management Console when using account login credentials,” Amazon said.
The inoperable console meant that users weren’t able to log in to the service to manage their accounts.
An hour later Amazon provided an update: “We have identified the root cause for the intermittent errors accessing the AWS Management Console when using root account login credentials. We are beginning to see recovery, and continue to work toward full resolution. The underlying AWS services and console logins using IAM users continue to operate normally.”
And another update after that: “Between 12:28 p.m. and 3:13 p.m. PDT, we experienced intermittent errors accessing the AWS Management Console. AWS services were not affected by this event. This issue has been resolved and the service is operating normally.”
An AWS spokesperson told CNBC, “AWS continues to function normally. We saw some intermittent AWS Management Console issues earlier today, but they did not drive any meaningful impact on Amazon’s consumer business.”
The AWS glitches were unrelated to Amazon Prime Day problems, a source told CNBC, although it’s not clear at the time of publishing what caused the issues. AWS claims on its website that their service “monitors your applications and automatically adjusts capacity to maintain steady, predictable performance at the lowest possible cost.”
If the outages and glitches today do turn out to be the result of a traffic surge on Amazon Prime Day, it will be terrible PR for the company that brags about reliability during traffic surges.
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