Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service isn’t working

Error rates in Simple Storage Service are bringing down sites across the web

AWS outage S3 Amazon cloud

Amazon Web Services today acknowledged that its Simple Storage Service (S3), one of the company's most popular cloud-based products, is experiencing increased error rates, causing sites across the Internet to stop working and impacting a broad range of other AWS services too.

AWS posted an alert on its Service Health Dashboard at 2:35 PM ET noting: “We've identified the issue as high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is also impacting applications and services dependent on S3. We are actively working on remediating the issue.”

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The elevated error rates in S3 caused a domino effect across other AWS products. AWS’s Service Health Dashboard indicated that as many as 18 other Amazon cloud services were impacted, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual machines. At 2:38 PM ET, AWS posted an alert about the EC2 Northern Virginia Region: “We can confirm increased error rates for the EC2 and EBS APIs and failures for launches of new EC2 instances in the US-EAST-1 Region. We are also experiencing degraded performance of some EBS Volumes in the Region.” Other disrupted services include RedShift, Simple Email Service, Workdocs, WorkMail, AWS Auto Scaling, CodeBuild, CodeCommit, Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda (all in Northern Virginia region).

screen shot 2017 02 28 at 2.50.32 pm https://status.aws.amazon.com/

A screenshot of the Amazon Web Services Service Health Dashboard shows as many as 18 AWS products being impacted by elevated error rates on Tuesday afternoon ET. 

Some AWS users reported on Twitter that up to 41 of their AWS services were impacted on Tuesday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, the disruption is causing issues across sites on the Internet that rely on AWS’s cloud. Expedia.com and online learning site Coursera were not working shortly before 2 PM ET. Users on Twitter posted that Quora, Slack and even the site www.IsItDownRightNow.com are down, likely because of this issue with S3.

The Service Health Dashboard, which normally displays green, yellow or red alerts when there are service disruptions was initially not working because of the S3 error. The S3 service showed a green symbol when there were errors. The official AWS Twitter account posted: “The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates.” Instead of the S3 service showing a red alert, AWS posted a message at the top of the Service Health Dashboard site and turned to Twitter to update its users about the issue. AWS resolved that issue shortly before 3 PM ET.

UPDATE: At 5:08 PM ET AWS posted on its Service Health Dashboard that elevated S3 error rates have been resolved; S3 and most other services that were impacted have returned to normal functionality.  

For more detail and reaction to the S3 errors today, check out Brandon Butler’s Twitter account (@BButlerNWW).

MORE: Amazon S3 Internet outage unleashes flood of apologies -- from others

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