Earlier this week, much of the internet ground to a halt when the servers that power them suddenly vanished. The servers were part of S3, Amazon’s popular web hosting service, and when they went down they took several big services with them. Quora, Trello, and IFTTT were among the sites affected by the disruption. The servers came back online more than four hours later, but not before totally ruining the UK celebration of AWSome Day.
Now we know how it happened. In a note posted to customers today, Amazon revealed the cause of the problem: a typo.
On Tuesday morning, members of the S3 team were debugging the billing system. As part of that, the team needed to take a small number of servers offline. “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended,” Amazon said. “The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems.”
It sounds like a typical Michael Bolton Error to me.
It’s so great we a decentralized network of servers that keeps the Internet up and running all the time.
You know like one of the original goals of ARPANET.
The good news is that the vast majority of Americans, even low-income ones, now have some access to the Internet. The bad news is that many are “under-connected,” with mobile-only access that is subject to data caps or interruption due to payment issues.
A new study of lower-income parents found that 94 percent had some kind of Internet connection, but more than half said their connections were slow and almost a quarter rely solely on a mobile device. One in five said their Internet was cut off some time in the last year due to inability to pay. The study, conducted by Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Rutgers University, also found disparities based on ethnicities.
Remember when the Internet was talked about as being “the great democratizer”? Good times.
Compared with other countries, Americans still pay the most for the slowest service.
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 Report is out.
If you’ve never seen her report, I encourage you to do so. You might see a lot of statistics you either already know or consider obvious, but it’s an extensive and extremely thorough look at the state of the Internet.
Here’s just a few slides that stood out to me.
The evolution of content discovery:
I know a lot of old farts who don’t let their phones leave their sides:
…AND CAN WE STOP CALLING THEM PHONES?!