You may or may not have been affected by the great AWS (Amazon Web Servers) outage of December 7th, 2021, but thousands have; including a few large websites and their company’s online services. Several companies including Disney+, Amazon Prime, Amazon Music, Amazon’s Alexa, Ring, and dozens of others have reported outages.
The ability to log on and use the various servers listed above has been mostly accessible to the majority of users across the United States depending on what they are trying to get into. For instance, Disney+ was being affected for a while, but it seems to be back up in some areas. Canvas, a site used by colleges and other educational institutions all over the country has been incredibly slow to open or simply won’t load at all. Many are reporting the red logo spinning endlessly (such as in my case), or on their computer they are getting a “bad gateway error”.
This couldn’t come at a more horrible time for students and faculty as finals have begun this week!
Canvas: Due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage, many users are unable to connect to Canvas. Canvas will monitor the situation as Amazon engineers work to restore service.
All faculty and students as this is finals week: pic.twitter.com/uMpkeSgRon
— HigherEd ITGuy (@HigherEd_ITGuy) December 7, 2021
As of the writing of this article, the outage has been going on for several hours and there is currently no ETA on when it will be fully restored. Many are doubting whether or not this was a simple outage or if something more sinister is taking place, such as some kind of cyber-attack by hackers or other enemies maybe foreign or domestic.
Pour one out for AWS who are having an outage again. I'm told failed change rather than cYbEr aTtAcK pEw pic.twitter.com/3CStKlGhAm
— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) December 7, 2021
Below is another tweet that shows just a few of the sites affected by the outage.
Had a lot of people telling me about having problems loading Santa Inc IMDB reviews, I told them it was site wide. This AWS outage was the problem, i was having issues with some of these other sites as well. https://t.co/hkfy1RCKAk
— Ryan Kinel – RK Outpost (@KinelRyan) December 7, 2021
So, what does Amazon claim is the cause? According to Forbes, AWS is having “an impairment of several network devices” and though there are “some signs of recovery, the company “do not have an ETA for full recovery.”
“”We are experiencing API and console issues in the US-EAST-1 Region,” Amazon said in a report on its service health dashboard, adding that it has identified the cause and was working to resolve the issue.”
Forbes also goes on to say that there are at least 48 different sites that are suffering thanks to the impairments. These outages are not cheap, and if you recall, the one for Facebook back in October of this year cost over $100 million in revenue!
Amazon Web Services has experienced this kind of thing before. Remember back in November 2020? Insider reported that a similar issue took down the Services and stemmed from the same region as the one going on today. Amazon themselves posted what happened in a highly detailed summary for the November 25th, 2020 outage that “hobbled” many businesses both small and large.
While many are laughing and poking fun of the incident, it’s interesting to see just how much of our day-to-day routines can be altered by an outage of this magnitude.
Below a tweet points out that some McDonald’s kiosks rely on the same consoles that have gone down.
When an AWS outage takes out your caffeine supply chain https://t.co/hrgTdxisQI
— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) December 7, 2021
Are you aware of how many of your household items might be running on Amazon Web Services, or on the internet at all?
These men below just realized they can’t even vacuum their houses thanks to the outage.
us-east-1 is having an outage, and my wife just complained she couldn't run our Roomba because the internet is down. I can't vacuum my home because AWS. What is the world coming to?
— Thomas Johnson (@ThomasJ02) December 7, 2021
So it turns out that the AWS outage means my Roomba doesn’t work. Thanks, world… pic.twitter.com/ppomryrvpL
— Steve Peters (@vpisteve) December 7, 2021
Another tweeter has just discovered their thermostat requires the internet to be adjusted!
Ever wonder what random things occur when AWS has an outage? 😂 pic.twitter.com/yNF8dHFHU1
— MKOTA 🧙🏼♂️ (@kota_cooks) December 7, 2021
Others have taken to reminding people why it’s best not to put all our eggs in one basket…
AWS outage today demonstrates the danger of having one company as a failure point for half the web
— Charlie DiFranco (@cdifranco123) December 7, 2021
Hint, if your "decentralized" service went down today because of the AWS outage, it isn't decentralized.
— Josh Ellithorpe (@zquestz) December 7, 2021
based accelerationist NASDAQ is about to take this whole capitalism thing down with the next AWS outage pic.twitter.com/afg87WxbwJ
— gaba ghoul 🏴 (@LL_CoolBeans) December 7, 2021
In hindsight, maybe it was a bad idea to let companies like AWS and Cloudflare become the literal spine of the internet. Every time they have an outage, they take half of the internet with them.
— Eric Hamilton (@OnetheycallEric) December 7, 2021
Good luck surfing out there!