Amazon down: What you need to know about the AWS outage

8 Dec 2021

Image: © Sundry Photography/

Amazon said the root cause was ‘an impairment of several network devices’ and the issue has now been resolved.

Technical problems with some Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud servers caused an outage impacting many major websites, including streaming sites Netflix and Disney+ and Amazon’s own suite of services.

The outage was first reported yesterday afternoon (7 December) when users of many services dependent on AWS infrastructure took to social media and to report issues.

Amazon said the root cause of the issue was “an impairment of several network devices”. In its most recent update, the company said the network device issues were resolved and it was “working towards the recovery of any impaired services”.

Some of the Amazon services affected included its e-commerce business, which is seeing heavy pre-Christmas traffic. According to Vice, warehouse workers and delivery drivers were left without access to key operational apps such as Flex and Dolphin, used for facilitating deliveries and tracking time.

The outage also caused issues for Amazon’s Alexa, Kindle, Amazon Music and Ring security cameras. Crypto exchange Coinbase, dating app Tinder, investing app Robinhood and leading games PUBG and League of Legends were also were also hit by the outage, as were robot hoover company iRobot, and payment apps Cash App and Venmo.

The problem seemed to be location-specific. Amazon said the outage stemmed from a problem in its US-EAST-1 region based in Virginia, meaning that services reliant on other parts of AWS infrastructure could still work, even if slower than usual.

According to the AWS status page, almost all services are now operating normally.

In June, content delivery network Fastly experienced a outage that saw some of the world’s leading media networks and companies go offline, including CNN, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, Reddit and Amazon itself.

More recently, an hours-long Facebook network issue in October knocked out all of the company’s services, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, for billions of people across the world in its worst outage in years.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic