A Typo Took Down Amazon’s Web Services


A cause has been found that can explain the recent disruption of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3).

Essentially, it was a typo.

Amazon released a statement this past Thursday, saying that an authorized employee on it’s S3 team was debugging an issue within its billing system, when the employee incorrectly entered a command. The result wound up removing a larger set of servers than intended.

According to the Synergy Research Group, Amazon Web Services (AWS) owns around 40% of the cloud computing market. And around 152,000 websites use Amazon’s S3 service, according to the research firm SimilarTech.

This means that major players such as Netflix, Spotify, Github, and Buzzfeed were all affected by this outage, as well as tens of thousands of other websites that rely on AWS for hosting and cloud-based storage.

Even DownDetector, the website used for showing where real time web service outages are occurring, was no match.


Image Credits: Robert Scoble

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