Friday, November 27, 2020

When the cloud goes dark: Amazon’s Cloud Servers goes down and people complaint they can't use their doorbell or Vacuums

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud service is the backbone of many websites and apps across the globe. And when it encountered a multi-hour outage this week, it sent the digirati and media buzzing. 

The multi-hour outage on Wednesday before Thanksgiving impacted many popular services like Adobe Cloud Software, 1Password, Flickr  that tweeted about AWS outage impacting their services - - 1PasswordAcornsAdobe_SparkAnchorAutodeskCapital_GazetteCoinbaseDataCampGetaroundGlassdoorFlickriRobotThe Philadelphia InquirerPocketRadioLabRokuRSS PodcastingTampa Bay TimesVonage.

AWS' brief outage highlights the risk of IOT dependent services

Internet of Things (IOT) describes the network of physical objects - "things" - that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet. Many of our modern devices, gadgets and Smart Homes are IOT enabled by sensors and software and are dependent on access to the internet. 

An outage like this can disrupt the functioning of IOT and internet dependent devices and services. Not surprisingly, consumer tweets didn't mince words, highlight the sign of our times and how dependent we are on uninterrupted internet services:  

Comments on social media sites like Reddit were equally pithy

yoloman0805 posted "The future is here. Can't wait for smart toilet paper dispenser which connects to to the internet." and  CaptainFunktastic added "Our houses could be filled to the brim with all kinds of stupid things wired and connected in such a way that they do everything we think a chip in our brain could do, but somehow having vaccine crosses the line." 

Butwinsky posted

Public: The government wants to put chips in our brains!
Amazon: oh no! Anyways, here's our new Alexa enabled literally everything
Public: Shut up and take my money!

As of 4:18AM ET on Thursday morning (26th Nov) , Amazon announced that the service has been restored. AWS Service Health Dashboard posted an update: 

“We have restored all traffic to Kinesis Data Streams via all endpoints and it is now operating normally. We have also resolved the error rates invoking CloudWatch APIs. We continue to work towards full recovery for IoT SiteWise and details of the service status is below. All other services are operating normally. We have identified the root cause of the Kinesis Data Streams event, and have completed immediate actions to prevent recurrence.” 

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