Amazon outages disrupt life and surprise people about their dependence on the cloud

Kyle Lerner and his girlfriend felt something was wrong when they got home on Tuesday and found two Persian-Himalayan cats meowing non-stop.

Normally, an internet-connected feeder distributes kibbles for them at noon, but the cat’s bowl was empty and clean.The gadget wasn’t working due to a stop at Of a corporation

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Cloud computing unit.

“We had to feed them by hand as in ancient times,” said Lerner, a 29-year-old small business owner in Marina del Rey, California.

Amazon Web Services is the largest cloud computing service provider in the United States. Many network outages lasted all day, disrupting some of Technology Giant’s services and many of its corporate customer websites and apps.

For many consumers, it was an awakening to how many internet-enabled devices they currently have in their homes, and even some of their most basic everyday needs. Depends on connecting to the cloud..

Steve Peters of Los Angeles couldn’t instruct Roomba’s robot vacuum to clean the crumbs of the blueberry muffins that landed on the kitchen floor at breakfast. He is beckoning the machine using his mobile phone app.

“I had to rely on getting brooms and dustpans,” said Peters, a 60-year-old gaming experience designer. “It was crazy.”

In St. Louis, Mark Edelstein felt lonely and helpless because he could no longer access Amazon’s Alexa service.

“We chat more during the day than I and my wife,” said a 62-year-old business analyst about digital assistants. The digital assistant usually responds instantly to his questions and commands. He regularly seeks weather and news updates. Alexa had no answer to him on Tuesday morning.

“Since Pandemic, I’m now tied to the Alexa system, “Edelstein said. Without it, “there is almost separation anxiety.”

Steve Peters was unable to activate the Roomba vacuum cleaner using the smartphone app due to an AWS power outage.


Steve Peters

Amazon’s power outages were especially noticeable because they weren’t limited to a particular type of service.This includes the company’s video conferencing tool Chime and its home security system Ring, as well as Ticketmaster and

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Netflix Ltd

The power outage forced Samantha Shell Hug to open the blinds at his home in Tampa Bay, Florida. She couldn’t tell Alexa to turn on the light. Otherwise she would have to move the furniture to reach the main light switch in the living room.

“In the last two years, I’ve been lazy,” said Sherahag, the home mother of two young girls. “It’s easier to tell Alexa to turn the lights on and off. She listens better than the kids.”

Sherhag also couldn’t keep track of the packages she expected from Zappos wearing sandals for her husband. Zappos is an Amazon unit, which was also affected by the outage.

“You can see how much you depend on technology,” she said.

Kyle Lerner’s two cats next to an internet-connected feeder have stopped working due to an AWS outage.


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Stops that affect a user’s score are rather common.In addition to Amazon, they have also been plagued recently


Parent MetaPlatforms Inc. And Roblox Inc.Is producing the following modern headaches: I can’t play video games Also Share photos with friends..

According to a global survey released in September by Uptime Institute LLC, a provider of data center reliability consulting services, 69% of data center operators have experienced some outages in the last three years. Human error played a role in 78% of these incidents, with 44% having financial, reputation, and other significant consequences.

Due to the AWS outage, college student Sofia Echeverry was unable to access Canvas, the service she and her classmates use to submit homework, access grades, and send messages to professors at the University of Florida. She is currently lagging behind projects and essays.

“Now everyone is in final mode,” she said. “If there was the worst time the Canvas crashed, that would be it.”

Ekebury, a 19-year-old second-year student majoring in linguistics, described the suspension as stressful and frustrating. “I’m going to be in the library for that much longer than I expected,” she said.

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It is not always immediately clear when an outage is occurring. David Danto was initially confused when the waterproof internet-enabled device he recently installed in the shower did not play the radio news channel he requested. The 59-year-old probably installed it incorrectly or thought his home internet was down.

Dant, a technology specialist in Millburn, NJ, said:

If his Alexa-powered lights at home also didn’t work, he checked the website Downdetector, which tracks website outages, and found himself not alone. As of 10:45 am on the ET, there were reports of nearly 11,300 outages. “It was a sigh of relief,” Danto said, but that experience also gave him a sense of how dependent he was on AWS. “You start to worry, how vulnerable we are to this one service? It causes a panic.”

Amazon has accused the outage of a failed network device. But for Ben Jackson, a 41-year-old cyber defense manager in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the Grinch seems to be responsible for preventing the Christmas-illuminated trees and Santa and reindeer inflatables from turning on at sunset. It looked like. I was programming them to do so. He eventually solved the problem through a working app.

“I’m very happy that this is the only thing that’s broken right now,” he said.

Big tech companies are investing in data centers as they compete for the $ 214 billion cloud computing market. The WSJ explains what cloud computing is and why Big Tech is making big bets on future contracts. (Video from 11/19/19)

Write to Sara E. Needleman

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Amazon outages disrupt life and surprise people about their dependence on the cloud

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