Outage in Amazon Web Services cloud storage causing online disruptions

A lengthy outage on Amazon.com’s cloud storage service, apparently stemming from the East Coast, was causing widespread disruptions in online services Tuesday morning.

A lengthy outage on Amazon.com’s cloud storage service, apparently stemming from the East Coast, was causing widespread disruptions in online services Tuesday.

In a warning on the Amazon Web Services service health dashboard, posted at 11:35 a.m., the tech giant’s cloud computing unit said that it was “working hard at repairing S3,” the data storage service affected. The company said it believes it spotted the “root cause” of the problem, and staffers “are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.

Amazon identified a data center location on the U.S. East Coast as the place that was seeing “high error rates” in the storage service that in turn were hampering other AWS functions. The AWS status report page showed error alerts for some of the company’s e-mail, office and computing power services operating out of servers in Northern Virginia.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Reactions to the outage quickly spread on Twitter. The Harvard Business Review said its website was “temporarily down due to the AWS outage.”

Trello, a tool for project management, at 11:26 a.m. reported that it was still “investigating the issue with AWS.” That company first posted about the issue on its status page at 9:59 a.m.

The disruption underscores Amazon’s central role on the smooth functioning of an increasingly internet-reliant economy. Whereas once companies had to operate facilities with private servers, nowadays many have chosen to pay Amazon and other cloud giants to store their data and even their computing processes. Cloud providers tout their server warehouses as safe and reliable.

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