Amazon Web Services outage subsides after unplugging services for hours

Kris Holt
·Contributing Writer
·3 min read

If you're having trouble with some websites and apps at the minute, you’re far from the only one. Amazon Web Services (AWS), which powers a huge number of internet services, is in the midst of an outage in one of its regions.

DownDetector, which tracks issues affecting online services, saw a significant increase in AWS outage reports from users on Wednesday morning. The site saw similar spikes for other services, including various Amazon platforms, Pokémon Go and Roku. Other companies — such as Flickr, Adobe and Anchortook to Twitter to report issues with their platforms. The New York City Transit Authority was unable to update a subway line alert due to the outage.

AWS spike on DownDetector
AWS spike on DownDetector

The AWS status dashboard perhaps isn't the most reliable source of information about the outage at the minute — Amazon says the problem has affected its ability to provide updates there. As of noon ET, the dashboard reported “The Kinesis Data Streams API is currently impaired in the US-EAST-1 Region. As a result customers are not able to write or read data published to Kinesis streams.”

Update (4:58 PM ET): The AWS dashboard still notes errors on a number of services, while users still have some issues on the various AWS-powered platforms. A full resolution is still likely hours away, as the last update at 3:15 PM ET said “We continue to work towards recovery of the issue affecting the Kinesis Data Streams API in the US-EAST-1 Region. We also continue to see an improvement in error rates for Kinesis and several affected services, but expect full recovery to still take up to a few hours.”

Update (6:49 PM ET): According to the dashboard, some systems are improving, but things are largely still a mess. An update from 5:25 PM ET includes the note “We also continue to see an improvement in error rates for Kinesis and several affected services, but expect full recovery to still take up to a few hours. For Amazon Cognito, the issues affecting APIs and authentication for user and identity pools has now recovered.”

Update (10:20 PM ET): According to Amazon, the worst of the issue should be over. “We have now fully mitigated the impact to the subsystem within Kinesis that is responsible for the processing of incoming requests and are no longer seeing increased error rates or latencies. However, we are not yet taking the full traffic load and are working to relax request throttles on the service. Over the next few hours we expect to relax these throttles to previous levels. We expect customers to begin seeing recovery as these throttles are relaxed over this timeframe.”

Services that were affected by the outage, like Roku and Anchor have reported they are coming back online.