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What caused the Amazon web services outage and what does it mean?

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amazon netflix disney+ outage virginia - LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS
amazon netflix disney+ outage virginia - LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS

Amazon deliveries have been severely disrupted in some parts of the US, while some users have had trouble accessing websites and apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Tinder, Coinbase and RobinHood.

Thousands of Amazon delivery drivers have not been able to book or manage assignments as they could not access the Flex app, which is used for staff scheduling.

Amazon's Ring security cameras, mobile banking app Chime and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot also reported issues on their social media pages.

What has caused it?

An Amazon-operated cloud centre in Virginia has suffered an outage due to “an impairment of several network devices”.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) said on Tuesday it was working on resolving the issue but it is not clear how long it will take.

The IT problem is affecting other companies because they rely on AWS, which is a market leader in the so-called cloud computing.

It is a service in which customers pay for hosting and processing that takes place at a remote data centre, instead of on their own servers.

What will the impact be?

Netflix, which runs nearly all of its infrastructure on AWS, lost as much as 26pc of its traffic.

RobinHood said some customers could not transfer money or link their bank accounts.

It is not clear how Amazon’s US retail operations will be affected, but if the situation is not resolved quickly it could face long-term jamlogs.

The issue comes at a particularly busy time as thousands of Americans choose to do their Christmas shopping online.

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