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

AWS calls it "high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1," while others call it "The Internet is broken"

While Amazon Web Services hasn't yet issued an apology via its social media channels regarding big problems today with its Simple Storage Service (S3), the company's customers have turned to Twitter and Facebook to apologize to their own customers -- while pointing the finger at AWS.

AWS, via its @awscloud Twitter account, did alert customers that "S3 is experiencing high error rates. We are working hard on recovering." That was posted a bit after 2pm EST and Amazon has since posted a few updates, including a note about the status dashboard recovering.


Customers urged AWS to resolve the issue quickly, some nicely, some trolling the cloud service provider, including over its use of the euphemism "high error rates" instead of just saying the system is down. "Call it like it is. AWS is down," tweeted one observer.

Another suggested: "Try turning it on and off again. Trust me, I work in IT."

aws tweet Twitter

AWS makes no mention of the problems on its Facebook page, but customers do. One wrote: "Funny how amazon isn't down when they have server problems with aws, everyone else is."


E-mail marketing, list management and RSS feed company Feedblitz was among those alerting customers to the issue when they arrived on its site today:

"This might look a little odd. Here's why.

One of the largest cloud services on the Internet, run by Amazon, is having a wee meltdown right now. We use it to store images and other files needed to run our site. Since Amazon S3 is down, things are going to look weird for some. We also can't upload new images until they get back online. Many, many online services are affected by this, and while that's cold comfort, we do apologize for the inconvenience it may be causing you right now.The good news is that they say they've found the problem, so we hope that this means they'll have everything back up and running soon."

The MBTA commuter rail service in Massachusetts even alerted customers that the outage prevented it from taking phone calls via its usual method:

mbta aws Twitter

Many other organizations -- from expense-splitting tool provider Splitwise ("Sorry, Splitwise website is down due an Amazon Web Services outage. App should still work in offline mode until resolved") to backup service Tarsnap to health systems market intelligence outfit Statasan -- gave their customers a heads up on social media.

TV streaming company Roku's support team, for example, tweeted in response to a customer question: "Hello! We are currently affected by the widespread AWS outage. Stay tuned! We're sorry for the inconvenience." IrisPR tweeted: "Like millions of other cloud-based apps, Iris is down due to the #AWS outage. Sorry folks. We're being patient."

And yes, even Network World itself has had issues sending out our newsletters this afternoon due to the AWS high error rates affecting our newsletter distribution partner. Sorry about that.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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