The AWS outage hits Disney +, Tinder, Venmo, and more. Here is what to do
Having trouble streaming Disney +? Amazon or its products like Alexa or Ring security cameras? Tinder? Venmo? What’s going on with your Roomba?
Websites and applications that use Amazon Web Services were taken offline on Tuesday by another outage. Amazon says it is working on the problem.
What can we all do? Apparently it takes some getting used to.
These breakdowns which disrupt our daily life are the norm nowadays.
With more and more data and online services amid a growing network of data centers in the United States and around the world, problems will arise due to mechanical issues and breakdowns – or worse, bad actors such as hackers and ransomware vendors.
Nonetheless, we continue to embrace an increasingly digital lifestyle, with more functionality on mobile devices – Apple putting driver’s licenses, along with house and car keys, in iPhones. And most of us don’t really think about or understand the technology behind this digital lifestyle.
And this connected existence is not as robust, reliable and secure as you might think. Just as subways can go slower than expected or trains derail, there can be incidents on the Information Highway.
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âIt’s a chilling reminder of the double-edged sword around digital transformation,â said Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities. “It’s just a few dominoes that could stop it all.”
Amazon Web Services provides cloud computing services to a wide variety of businesses as well as government agencies, colleges, and universities.
Amazon said it was “actively working on the recovery.” He did not elaborate on what caused Tuesday’s blackout that began mid-morning on the east coast.
Over the years, we’ve come to expect Netflix to almost instantly deliver “True Story” with one click.
âWe just assume it’s all there all the time. I think the providers of our digital lives have gone out of their way to make us feel like it’s always there,â said Shelly Palmer, CEO of The Palmer Group, a technology strategy advisory group and author of “Blockchain – Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance.”
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos “has reduced every ounce of friction from your purchase of something. Mark Zuckerberg has reduced every ounce of friction possible about your posting of something to a social network,” Palmer said. “The only time people think about this experience is when it goes away.”
How do Internet shutdowns occur?
AWS has built-in redundancies in its networks, but problems can arise. An Amazon Web Services outage in November 2020 removed the “League of Legends” video game and Sirius XM satellite radio, and also affected Roku and Amazon’s Ring doorbell. AWS experienced similar outages in 2015 and 2017.
âI think these get stuck so rarely, it’s news when that happens,â Palmer said. âThe goal here is speedâ¦ You want to see your video immediately at the push of a button. You want everything to run perfectly and smoothly. The way you do that is to cache (or store) the content too. as close to the user as possible. That’s what a content delivery network does. “
This all works as it should 99% of the time. How much more should a business spend to make it nearly 100% better? Probably too much, Palmer said.
âEveryone has a way of calculating high availability of services,â he said. Banks, for example, should try to get as close to 100% as possible, Palmer said. But if you’re “delivering a movie or you’re a social network where the” Like “button has to work, how important is it? “
While the scale and extent of the blackout was “breathtaking,” Ives said, the damage appears to be “contained.”
During the COVID pandemic, “we are all the more dependent on the cloud and a few vendors from a data center perspective,” he said. âThe concern is what will happen next time. And the bad actors and malicious attackers have definitely taken noteâ of the outage and assessed the potential vulnerabilities, Ives said.
What can you do?
Each of us should take advantage of this recent event to consider our own situation. Think about how often there are outages online that could affect you. Connectivity programs like Microsoft Teams and Slack have been experiencing outages recently. The same is true of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. (Do you have phone numbers or email addresses for coworkers, friends or family that you might need to contact during downtime?)
Many of us store personal files in the cloud, and these networks like Google Cloud and Apple’s iCloud can go down as well. You may want to have several ways to save important files, photos and other data. In addition to storing them in the cloud, arrange them on an external drive or USB stick.
If you have more than one computer, have copies on both devices in case one gets infected. And consider encrypting the files for extra protection.
This could come in handy if you fall victim to ransomware or malware, as major fuel supplier Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS SA recently did. âIt’s the same,â Palmer said. “These are great times to learn about our vulnerabilityâ¦ and how much we’ve come to rely on our connectivity and how out of control we really are.”