Why Amazon’s AWS’S3 Servers Were Down

March 19, 2023 5:47 am7 commentsViews: 493

A simply typo causes a five-hour outage to the AWS’S3 cloud service of Amazon and affected tons of companies including Airbnb, Lyft, Nextdoor, IFTTT, Kickstarter, News Corp, Quora, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), VSCO, Zendesk and Pinterest.

Amazon said a simple incrrect typing command during a routine debugging of the billing system caused the massive server crash that took down thousands of websites and apps.

Issuing an embarrassing apology the Seattle company said a full restart of the system was required thereafter and this took longer than expected time.

The outage started at 9:37 a.m. PST when removing of a small number of servers was intended for one of the S3 subsystems used by the S3 billion process. An authorized team member used an established playbook executeda command to do so and unfortunately one of the inputs entered incorrectly that led to the removal of larger set of servers instead of a small number.

Amazon adds further in the apology release the inadvertently removed servers supported two other S3 subsystems and hence the outage became so big.

The company said, “We want to apologize for the impact this event caused for our customers… While we are proud of our long track record of availability with Amazon S3, we know how critical this service is to our customers, their applications and end users, and their businesses.”


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