Amazon's AWS S3 outage impacted Apple's services

mac app store
Roman Loyola

Yesterday afternoon, Amazon Web Services (AWS) experienced a significant and prolonged outage that brought a number of popular websites and services down. While Amazon is more readily known for its online retail business, the company's cloud services division has quickly become a huge money maker for the Jeff Bezos-led company. What's more, AWS provides the backbone for many well-known sites, including Netflix and Quora.

"We are investigating increased error rates for Amazon S3 requests in the US-EAST-1 Region,” Amazon said yesterday amidst a flurry of confusion and frustration.

The problem was eventually resolved, but not before a number of services from Apple were affected. For a brief while yesterday, iOS users experienced difficulties accessing the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud backups, iWork and other cloud-based services.

Interestingly enough, rumor has it that Apple inevitably wants to lessen its reliance on third-party providers like Amazon. Indeed, this is simply par for the course for Apple given its insistence on controlling—to the extent possible—all of the technology underlying its products and services.

As an additional aside, it's worth noting that Apple in late 2015 struck a deal with Google's cloud platform while lessening its reliance upon AWS in the process.

To this point, CRN reported the following this past March:

Since inking the Google deal late last year, Apple has also significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon Web Services, whose infrastructure it uses to run parts of iCloud and other services, said the sources, who all requested anonymity to protect their relationships with the vendors.

According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn’t be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity. AWS said Apple's move to work with Google does not signify "competitive defection."

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