Amazon Web Services, AWS for short, is a competitive cloud-computing company which is a subsidiary of Amazon. Its range of offers cover 16 services such as storage, compute, networking, application services, management, deployment, tools for the Internet of Things, and others. Its main products include the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, known as EC2, and Amazon Simple Storage Service, nicknamed as S3. The company sets itself in the market as an affordable computing capacity provider which is more cost effective than building a physical server farm. The organization had everything under control until its recent massive server outage.
On February 28, 2017, Amazon Web Services failed a vast majority of S3 clients when its server outage affected the Northern Virginia data center. The company operates a total of 16 such centers around the world, so only those depending on this geographical region were affected. Nonetheless, thousands of websites went dark for a total of five hours as a consequence of this event. The network status page of Amazon was affected itself as well as other apps.
However, AWS managed to find the cause of the issue and fix it in a matter of five hours. The main problems with the online storage service led to partially or fully broken websites that offer all kinds of services. According to the data collected by SimilarTech, there are 148,213 websites and 121,761 unique domains that are highly dependent on AWS S3. Giant platforms such as Medium and Business Insider were directly impacted by this incident as well as many smart households that couldn’t turn on their lights.
AWS is one of the most widely used cloud storage on the market. Last quarter, the service acquired $3.5 billion in earnings. This means that Amazon covers almost half of the market share within this industry only. The company earned popularity vote as it is considered to be one of the most reliable services in the cloud-computing segment. It provides low entry barrier to small companies, and it also came to represent the main source of revenue for YouTube reviewers and bloggers through its affiliate program.
Thus, the Amazon server outage affected thousands of hundreds of modern businesses that rely on the Internet of Things more than anything. This incident might put AWS in a different light where customers will question if such an industry domination threatens the online environment or not.
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