Disruption in Amazon’s cloud service ripples through internet

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By Jeffrey Dastin

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Some web surfers on Tuesday experienced glitches on media outlets and other sites whose data is hosted by Amazon.com Inc’s <AMZN.O> popular cloud business, which Amazon said suffered a technical disruption.

The technology company’s simple storage service, known as Amazon S3, experienced “high error rates” that rippled throughout its various cloud services, Amazon said in an online posting. As of early afternoon Pacific Time, the company said several features had fully recovered, and it was working to return to normal operations.

The disruption had an immediate impact, underscoring the increasing dependency of companies on the cloud for cheap and secure data storage. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s biggest cloud business.

Apple Inc <AAPL.O> on its website reported issues with its app store, music-streaming service and other products. The iPhone-maker did not immediately comment on the cause, but it previously has said it uses Amazon S3 for some storage.

Nilay Patel,‏ editor-in-chief of tech website The Verge, said on Twitter that an article “published without an image because our image system runs on AWS.” Messaging startup Slack Technologies Inc said users may have had difficulty uploading files, among other issues, due to its hosting service, according to posts on Twitter.

Disruptions have been rare because Amazon has many redundant systems in place, said Gene Munster, head of research for Loup Ventures.

“It’s a temporary black eye from a customer standpoint,” he said, noting that Amazon’s customers will not go through the hassle of switching to a competing cloud service because of a one-time event.

AWS is a large, fast-growing source of revenue for Amazon. It has helped transform the retailer, once known simply for selling books online, into a technology platform.

An AWS spokeswoman did not immediately comment on the suspected cause of the problem.

(Additional reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)