One of Amazon Web Services’ most popular features is on the fritz.
The cloud-computing business’ S3 service, which provides on-demand storage for companies large and small, began experiencing “increased error rates” this morning around 10 a.m. PT.
That means websites relying on certain S3 servers may not be able to access some or all the information they stored with AWS, resulting in a handful of sites experiencing slow loading times or an inability to load at all. Some of those troubled sites include Imgur, IFTTT, Giphy and Slack.
“This is significant because S3 is such a core service to AWS,” Dave Bartoletti, Forrester’s public cloud expert, said. “Virtually everyone who uses AWS uses S3.”
S3, first introduced in 2006, is one of AWS’ oldest services, allowing companies to store all kinds of data, such as images for their websites or database backup information. The fact that it’s having such noticeable problems is surprising, Bartoletti added, because it’s typically “incredibly solid.”
It’s unclear what’s causing the S3 problem, but AWS said on a service website as of 12:52 p.m. PT that it believed it found the problem and expects to start seeing improvements within the hour. At 1:12 p.m. PT, AWS added that certain S3 features “fully recovered,” but it was still working to recover normal operations.
“We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause,” AWS said in a message at 11:35 a.m. PT, “and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.”
An AWS spokesperson provided the same statement and didn’t have any additional details. In the meantime, the AWS Twitter page and the AWS Service Health Dashboard are being updated with additional information.
Forrester’s Bartoletti predicted the problem involved a software failure, adding that there has been no indication so far that the issue related to a physical server problem, such as a fire, or a hack. He hasn’t spoken directly with AWS about the S3 problem.
The S3 issue illustrates how a more connected internet can now have more complicated and noticeable problems when things go wrong. Many companies have turned to cloud services like AWS and rival Microsoft’s Azure to avoid having to buy and update their own servers. These cloud offerings have become lucrative, especially for Amazon, which is the top cloud services provider. However, when things go wrong for these cloud providers, it can have a big impact on the internet.
Currently, Giphy is experiencing some hiccups, plus IFTTT and Nest services are experiencing issues. Imgur and Adobe services are also reporting downtime due to the S3 problem. A handful of publications have reported (via their Twitter accounts, of course) issues creating content.
At the moment, we at CNET can confirm Slack is experiencing issues and it’s very close to ruining our day. Because what is life without constant communication in way too many channels at once?
With so many busted things around the web, it’s shaping up to be a long day.
Of course, some sites are having fun with it:
Oh and forget using Is it down right now? or Down Detector to check because, irony of irony, they’re down.
Netflix is working though. (Not that you’re looking for a way to avoid work.)
Updated, 1:24 p.m. PT: Adds additional details throughout.