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Amazon Web Services crash takes down a big chunk of the web

Amazon Web Services has become a core component of the web, so when a server fault hit the company’s northeast base in Virginia, large parts of the web started to go offline.

Online services like Netflix, Reddit, IMDb, and 26 others went offline during the few hours, alongside most of the websites that use Amazon Web Services for image hosting.

Amazon’s own services, including Instant Video and Echo, were unable to avoid the server fault. That meant cord cutters were out of options for a few hours, with both Netflix and Instant Video knocked off.

Even though new migration techniques allowed some sites to avoid the brunt of damage, several sites fell victim to low amount of server capacity. The issues lasted for over six hours, the largest downtime in the history of Amazon Web Services; much larger than the 40 minute crash in 2013.

Amazon and its partners may have lost hundreds of millions in downtime. The company prides itself on reliable service, but something like this could cause partners to look elsewhere.

That is a big worry for Amazon, considering AWS is a diamond in the rough for an otherwise zero profit, high-cost business. In the most recent financial report, AWS was the highlight of the report, showing huge amounts of revenue from the division.

AWS is the largest provider of cloud services, beating IBM, Cisco, Salesforce, and Microsoft. It offers a huge cloud platform for developers and site owners, with competitive rates that beat most of the well established providers, a tactic that won Amazon the e-commerce market.

It is odd to see the web suddenly fall on its back feet after one server fails, especially when products like Amazon Echo and Nest thermostat were affected. If anything, it showed the shortfalls which could still happen to the Internet at large, and why the migration to a dynamic and fully functioning offline web is still far from happening.