Amazon: US web services outage ‘leads to major disruption’

Image copyright Amazon

Amazon’s main data centre in Virginia was offline on Saturday, leaving a lot of goods being loaded and unloaded vacant in warehouses nationwide.

The outage, which came just before the morning rush hour in the US, lasted for several hours and caused big problems for warehouse workers.

Amazon said its mail servers were not affected by the outage and mail were still being delivered.

The network is still down but problems are being addressed, it said.

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On its website, the web services arm of Amazon said it was down for a couple of hours for scheduled maintenance and an internal issue causing issues when small customers tried to access the service.

It said engineers were now working to fully resolve the problem, but warned that customers could still see delays and disruptions.

According to third-party data security firm Outten8, the outage affected its AWS customers’ websites, but it did not say if it affected their online and offline businesses such as

Other Amazon products, such as the Alexa voice-controlled assistant, were not affected by the incident.

What does Amazon do?

Amazon is one of the largest internet companies in the world.

The firm’s data centres in Virginia provide key services to its tens of millions of customers, including lending companies and health insurance providers.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Like a lot of tech firms, the company is under increased pressure to reduce its environmental impact

Amazon is also rolling out another critical service, dubbed the Alexa digital assistant.

How is this affecting warehouse workers?

Amazon’s UK arm said it was aware of the issue affecting its US warehouses and was looking at ways to help its workers.

A spokesman said it was “working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible”.

In response to an AFP news agency question, he said: “We have not seen any impact on employee safety or efficiency.”

Amazon also said the expected delay to its “Day One” payment programme was not because of the outage.

“Customers can continue to use their card from their existing account to begin payments. Payments made to customers using the affected card won’t be charged or processed,” it said.

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