How Amazon Rules The Internet
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Politics and Activism

How Amazon Rules The Internet

Who runs the net? Amazon!

How Amazon Rules The Internet
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Last Tuesday, you might have seen some websites, apps, and devices malfunctioning. Maybe you noticed some websites not loading photos, or not even loading at all! Other things, such as Amazon Alexa or Philips Hue lights not turning on using their respective applications. These weren't just coincidence. This all occurred because of one server farm went offline unexpectedly.

First, let's go over what all of these services had in common. They all used Amazon's hosting service, Amazon AWS, in order for the services to run. Amazon AWS is a suite of different services, from hosting to automation, that companies can purchase and use from Amazon. Companies like to use a service like this because they can instantly get more server power with a click of a button. Pretty cool right? In theory yes, but not when you have a backup in case this service goes down like it did on Tuesday. This kind of service is great for growing apps and websites because they don't have to purchase and build their own hosting farm for processing users information.

So, what companies and services were affected by the incident? According to, "The issues appear to be affecting Adobe’s services, Amazon’s Twitch, Atlassian’s Bitbucket and HipChat, Autodesk Live and Cloud Rendering, Buffer, Business Insider, Carto, Chef, Citrix, Clarifai, Codecademy, Coindesk, Convo, Coursera, Cracked, Docker, Elastic, Expedia, Expensify, FanDuel, FiftyThree, Flipboard, Flippa, Giphy, GitHub, GitLab, Google-owned Fabric, Greenhouse, Heroku, Home Chef, iFixit, IFTTT, Imgur, Ionic,, Jamf, JSTOR, Kickstarter, Lonely Planet, Mailchimp, Mapbox, Medium, Microsoft’s HockeyApp, the MIT Technology Review, MuckRock, New Relic, News Corp, OrderAhead, PagerDuty, Pantheon, Quora, Razer, Signal, Slack, Sprout Social, Square, StatusPage (which Atlassian recently acquired), Talkdesk, Travis CI, Trello, Twilio, Unbounce, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Verge, Vermont Public Radio, VSCO, Wix, Xero, and Zendesk, among other things. Airbnb, Down Detector, Freshdesk, Pinterest, SendGrid, Snapchat’s Bitmoji, and Time Inc. are currently working slowly." Other smaller websites have also been having issues with images or pages loading. Not only were these services affected, but services like Nest, the smart home device creator known for their Thermostats, were also malfunctioning yesterday.

When seeing that smart home appliances were being affected, I wondered if my Amazon Echo worked. Needless to say, she couldn't do anything for me for those few hours. But it also got me thinking about people who have their homes connected with multiple Smart Home devices, and what was going on there? These twitter post pretty much sum everything up.

Most of our devices are now connected on the "Internet Of Things", which a majority of these services run on Amazons AWS service. So not only are the websites that we visit daily hosted on there, but our smart locks, smart thermometers, security systems, smart lights, and other smart home devices are on this. It's pretty safe to say that Amazon really does rule the internet.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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