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Prolonged AWS outage takes down a big chunk of the internet

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AWS has been experiencing an outage for hours

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s internet infrastructure service that is the backbone of many websites and apps, experienced a multi-hour outage on Wednesday that affected a large portion of the internet. The service has been nearly fully restored as of 4:18AM ET on Thursday morning, according to Amazon.

We have restored all traffic to Kinesis Data Streams via all endpoints and it is now operating normally. We have also resolved the error rates invoking CloudWatch APIs,” reads an update on the AWS Service Health Dashboard. “We continue to work towards full recovery for IoT SiteWise and details of the service status is below. All other services are operating normally. We have identified the root cause of the Kinesis Data Streams event, and have completed immediate actions to prevent recurrence.” The message follows several updates related to the outage that began before noon on the eastern coast of the US.

Adobe was one of the first companies to report an all clear.

In an email to The Verge on Wednesday, Amazon noted that the issues are only affecting one of its 23 geographic AWS regions. But the problem was significant enough to take out a large number of internet services.

Many apps, services, and websites have posted on Twitter about how the AWS outage affected them, including 1Password, Acorns, Adobe Spark, Anchor, Autodesk, Capital Gazette, Coinbase, DataCamp, Getaround, Glassdoor, Flickr, iRobot, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pocket, RadioLab, Roku, RSS Podcasting, Tampa Bay Times, Vonage, The Washington Post, and WNYC. Downdetector.com also showed spikes in user reports of problems with many Amazon services throughout the day.

AWS is one of the most widely-used cloud computing services in the world, so any issues can have major ripple effects for other web services and apps, as evidenced by the number of companies affected by the outage. The Verge’s Russell Brandom has a helpful video explaining how AWS works:

Update November 22th, 4:33AM ET: Added update from the AWS Service Health Dashboard.