||| Ken Wolter | Dreamstime.com |||
So many systems rely on the internet to function when important servers go down it creates a cascade effect. Everything from traffic lights, banks, government services, satellites and more rely on the servers they are hosted on to function. When part of the internet goes down, it can take vital systems down with it creating potential danger.
Amazon's Web Services provide servers for thousands of companies and is one of the most widely used hosting services in the world. Today, Amazon's web servers went down at approximately 12:35 ET according to Catchpoint Systems causing chaos across the internet.The disruption appeared to be stemming from the eastern region Amazon Web Services which is one of three regions in the United States. Coincidentally, the eastern region is also where they roll out new features first which makes it the largest region of the three.
Web sites like IMDb, Instagram, Quora, the Verge, Wix, and many others rely on Amazon's Web Services to function so when they go down many other sites go down with them. Ironically, a website that can be used to detect outages called.
Is it down rightnow.com was also affected by the outage. The only information Amazon made available regarding the outage was that they were experiencing "high error rates" in the eastern region of its S3 web services. There was no indication given of when the service will be restored but Amazon stated it is "actively working on remediating the issue".
Web sites were not the only thing to feel the effect of the outage, home automation systems were also subject to failure such as the thermostat controller of the home automation device called Nest. Users reported being unable to adjust their thermostats using the Nest home management functionality. It is a stark reminder of just how much we rely on technology and one has to wonder if any foul play was involved in this most recent outage. If access to personal and sensitive information is comprised, many important systems such as Nest that controls vital home functions could be at risk. While there is no indication of foul play from Amazon, it is a real concern that users of automated home functionality must certainly be thinking about.