AWS Wide Spread Outage

Learn how an AWS outage halted services for individual users and businesses across the globe.


Several Amazon services and other services that depend on AWS were disrupted by an outage incident that spanned more than eight hours on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at approximately 7:35 a.m. PST. The incident impacted everything from home consumer products to numerous commercial services.

This hours-long outage made headlines in the popular media, such as this one from the Financial Times: “From angry Adele fans to broken robot vacuums: AWS outage ripples through the US.” The outage affected millions of users worldwide, including individuals who were using the AWS online stores and other businesses that relied heavily on AWS for providing their services.

The disruption caused by AWS emphasized the need for a decentralized Internet where services don’t rely on a small number of giant companies. According to Gartner, 80% of the cloud market is handled by just five companies. Amazon, with a 41% share of the cloud computing market, is the largest.

Outages like the one above remind us of famous Lamport’s quip: “A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn’t even know existed can render your own computer unusable.”

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