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Smart hoovers and doorbells left home alone with Amazon AWS infrastructure outage

AWS, which boasts the largest global infrastructure of any cloud provider, had a prolonged service interruption in its US-EAST-1 Region on Wednesday 25th November, taking several hours to resolve. As a result, significant internet disruption was experienced.

Unsurprisingly, when a company like AWS has a problem, the internet has a problem. The outage disrupted many clients websites and services, including Flickr,  Adobe Spark and AWS itself. However, in this interconnected world of Internet of Things, complaints started escalating when smart hoovers and doorbells stopped working.

One of the leading automated vacuum companies, iRobot, who manufacture the Roomba robot vacuum, uses AWS for specific features and services. The outage caused scheduled cleaning and specific room cleaning functions to malfunction. Complaints included customers saying their vacuums wouldn’t stop cleaning, and others complaining they couldn’t start cleaning.

Meanwhile, owners of Amazon’s own smart doorbells discovered that their doorbells stopped working all together. As confusion spread customers complained that they missed deliveries, even when they were in the house.

Amazon hasn’t highlighted what caused the outage, however the incident does show the wide-spread impacts associated with a service outage across business and home technology.

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