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Amazon Cloud Services Outage Takes Down Amazon Video, Websites and Internet-Connected Light Bulbs

A number of internet services were affected by an  outage of Amazon’s cloud infrastructure lasting multiple hours Tuesday. Amazon’s S3 servers, which are often used to store images and other media, suffered an outage across the East Coast region Tuesday morning, affecting services ranging from Amazon’s own media services to Medium to Slack.

Amazon acknowledged the outage on its cloud services status page, writing that “customer applications depending on S3 will continue to experience high error rates as we are actively working to remediate the errors in Amazon S3.”

The company later updated the status page with a note that most functionality had been restored by 2:08pm PT, but multiple sites and services dependent on Amazon still reported outages and slow load times.

Some of the services affected included Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music. Both were unavailable for some users on some devices, including Alexa and internet-connected TVs. A number of users from Western Europe, including Germany and the U.K., reported issues with both services, as well as connectivity issues with their Fire TV devices. Amazon acknowledged the issues on Twitter, and promised that it is “already working on it.”

But the outage also affected numerous third-party websites, apps and services.  A number of web publishers, including The Verge and Axios, were unable to load images for their articles. Other media sites, including Business Insider, weren’t able to publish any new stories at all for hours.

The outage also affected phone support systems at a number of companies and public agencies, including Boston’s public transit agency and the app-based investment service Acorns.

The secure messaging app Signal reported on Twitter that users weren’t able to attach images to their messages. And an outage of the cloud-based scripting and control service IFTTT even led to internet-connected light bulbs ceasing to function, according to user reports.

Notably, Netflix’s streaming service remained available, despite the fact that Netflix is making heavy use of Amazon’s cloud infrastructure as well. However, after past outages, Netflix has worked on being less dependent on single Amazon cloud regions, meaning that resources are dynamically being shifted if parts of Amazon’s cloud services go down.

Updated: 2:35pm: This post was updated with a note about Amazon’s services recovering from the multi-hour outage.

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