Amazon Web Services outage disrupts delivery operation

Amazon Web Services outage disrupts delivery operation

An Amazon Web Services outage wreaked havoc on the e-commerce giant's delivery operation, preventing drivers from getting packages and shutting down communication between Amazon and the thousands of drivers it relies on, according to four people familiar with the situation.

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Three delivery service partners said that an Inc. app used to communicate with delivery drivers was down as part of Tuesday s system failure. Vans that were supposed to be on the road delivering packages sat idle with no communication from the company, the person said. Amazon Flex drivers, independent delivery people who carry parcels in their own cars, couldn't log into Amazon's app to get assignments, said another person.

Amazon said late Tuesday afternoon that much of its web service was working again. On its AWS dashboard, the company said it had mitigated the underlying issue that caused some network devices in the US-EAST- 1 region to be impaired. We are seeing improvements in availability across most of the AWS services. The company didn't say anything about the issues with its delivery operation.

The problem came during Amazon's critical holiday shopping season when the company can ill afford delays that could cause lasting logjams. One delivery business owner in the West Coast said the company halted deliveries on Tuesday and planned to regroup on Wednesday.

Two delivery partners in earlier time zones said drivers who already had routes were told to put their phones in airplane mode and not log out of the Amazon routing app so they could continue making stops, but drivers who hadn't already been assigned routes were sidelined.

The outage began at around 10 a.m. Eastern time, according to Downdetector. More than 20,000 complaints were received on Amazon and more than 11,000 for the company's cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, at the peak of the outage. The reported outages had declined by half for Amazon and two-thirds for AWS at 1: 45 p.m.

According to Downdetector, multiple popular websites were affected, including Coinbase Global Inc., Robinhood Markets Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. Disney said that people were able to get into its parks, but they were having difficulty checking in online and paying for purchases. Some Amazon services, including music and video streaming, the voice-activated Alexa platform and the security arm, Ring, were affected.

Amazon said it had identified the root cause of the issue and was working to fix it after 1 p.m. The company directed customers to alternative servers in its western region that weren't experiencing problems. The eastern North American region had increased errors.

Amazon said it still hadn't fixed the issue by 6 p.m., although many services have already recovered, in an update on its AWS dashboard. Amazon Cloud Computing Services include Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Elastic Compute.

The video streaming service Netflix experienced a 26% drop in traffic after the AWS problems were reported, showing how quickly outages can ripple outward, said Doug Madory, an analyst at Kentik in San Francisco. He said that it can take a long time to figure out what went wrong and fix it when something goes wrong with software running these services. AWS sells companies computing power and software services on demand rather than maintaining their own data centers and teams in-house. Its customers include a wide range of industries and the federal government. From the Great Resignation to Lying Flat, Workers Are Opting Out.

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