Amazon's Alexa goes quiet on Echo devices amid AWS disturbances

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2018
Alexa, Amazon's digital assistant used by the Echo device range, is suffering from service outages that are affecting a number of users in the United States, issues that are likely to be caused by a regional outage of Amazon Web Services in Northern Virginia. (Update from Amazon)




Some users in the United States have received failure responses from their Alexa-equipped devices for their queries, reports TechCrunch, with the occasional outages affecting both Amazon's Echo devices as well as third-party hardware that uses Alexa, including the Sonos One. Along with verbal apologies and chimes from Alexa, users are also seeing instances of a red light ring, another notification that something went wrong with the query.

DownDetector shows a spike of reported issues with Alexa from users starting from approximately 11am eastern, with thousands of complaints made over the following hours. The site's live outage map indicates the vast majority of the Alexa reports stem from the United States, with a few reports stemming from European users.




Amazon has yet to publicly confirm the issue with Alexa specifically, but it is probably connected to the "Network Connectivity" event on the Amazon Web Services status page. Starting from 7:29am PST (10:29am eastern), the status page notes instances of packet loss affecting AWS Direct Connect customers in the US-East-1 Region, based in Sterling, Virginia.

According to later status updates, the connectivity issues affected connections for multiple Amazon services located in the region. By 9:43am PST (12:43pm eastern), connections between CoreSite VA1 and VA2 as well as other nearby locations are said to be inactive, with Amazon working to restore service through the connections.

A 10:24am PST (1:24pm eastern) update advises some of the network connectivity has been resolved.

According to Twitter user Daniel Pentecost, Amazon's online support team are apparently aware of the problem, and it should be resolved in the next hour or two. It is alleged the phone-based technical support is also being flooded by users, with a reported 18-minute hold time for those waiting to speak to a representative.

The Alexa outage occurs one month after Amazon ran a Super Bowl ad jokingly suggesting it could replace the digital assistant with celebrities if it lost its voice.

Update: An Apple spokesperson reached out to AppleInsider reiterating AWS "did not suffer a widespread or massive outage" during the period. The issue was caused by a loss of power to one of AWS' redundant Internet connection ports in Virginia, which created connectivity issues for AWS customers using Direct Connect services in AWS US East.

AWS has since restored the issue, and says it is working with its partner to prevent a recurrence.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,858member
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,516member
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

  • Reply 3 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,858member
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.

    Here is Amazon's, which details time and issues with recent events as well as shows a per day history for all their services for various continents.

    edited March 2018 dewme
  • Reply 4 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 5 of 24
    gumbigumbi Posts: 148member
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/


    Apple used MS Azure for iCloud until recently - they just switched to Google Cloud.  Do you not read the tech news?
  • Reply 6 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    To mask failure rates?  Really.  It wouldn't be brain surgery for an analyst to look every three days and compile the data and see Apple's big dark secret  ... NOT!  LOL.  
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    To mask failure rates?  Really.  It wouldn't be brain surgery for an analyst to look every three days and compile the data and see Apple's big dark secret  ... NOT!  LOL. 
    LOL. Yeah, a business manager or IT pro should just monitor Apple's iCloud service every three days for some indeterminate time in order to determine their reliability before committing to their service, while Amazon or Microsoft or Google's record is reviewable for weeks/months.

    So why do you think Apple is the outlier when it comes to being transparent about the downtimes and frequency? They used to keep at least three days logged. Apparently they don't even do that anymore? You're not offering any possible reason of your own for it. 
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 8 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    gumbi said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/


    Apple used MS Azure for iCloud until recently - they just switched to Google Cloud.  Do you not read the tech news?
    I thought they were using both, but perhaps not. 
  • Reply 9 of 24
    How can humanity survive without Alexa listening and answering to us on a daily basis?
    GG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 568member
    The Red Ring of Death strikes again!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    Believe whatever your heart tells you. If it says Apple is hiding something, go with that.
    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    gumbi said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/


    Apple used MS Azure for iCloud until recently - they just switched to Google Cloud.  Do you not read the tech news?
    They didn't claim to switch (meaning not using at all), they simply added Google Cloud, they likely still use many different third party cloud service according to the region.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    To mask failure rates?  Really.  It wouldn't be brain surgery for an analyst to look every three days and compile the data and see Apple's big dark secret  ... NOT!  LOL.  
    Gator lives in a 100% no logic shill zone, good thing I only see his comments second hand.
    watto_cobraapplepieguy
  • Reply 14 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    foggyhill said:
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    To mask failure rates?  Really.  It wouldn't be brain surgery for an analyst to look every three days and compile the data and see Apple's big dark secret  ... NOT!  LOL.  
    Gator lives in a 100% no logic shill zone, good thing I only see his comments second hand.
    Oh, good for you. That's exactly what "Ignore" is meant for. suddenly newton said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    Believe whatever your heart tells you. 
    Isn't that what we all do? 
  • Reply 15 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,858member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK, I'm assuming to mask failure rates (for comparisons?). Some other other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    Believe whatever your heart tells you. If it says Apple is hiding something, go with that.
    He believes that Apple doesn't show a history since he couldn't locate it, but believes it used to be 3 days. What evidence do you have to show that they do show a history?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    What would be the point of Apple showing past down times?  It’s not like you need to know that for anything except your own idle amusement. So why put the effort into maintaining a useless service?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,858member
    kruegdude said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    What would be the point of Apple showing past down times?  It’s not like you need to know that for anything except your own idle amusement. So why put the effort into maintaining a useless service?
    You're saying that if App Store app's back end service wasn't working over a weekend when I'm ff which caused users not to connect which in turn cost me money as well affected my apps usefulness it wouldn't be helpful to be able to look back a day or two to see if that issue was due to Apple or due to some fault on my end? There's literally no reason you can see to look at any data that isn't in real time? 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Soli said:
    kruegdude said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    What would be the point of Apple showing past down times?  It’s not like you need to know that for anything except your own idle amusement. So why put the effort into maintaining a useless service?
    You're saying that if App Store app's back end service wasn't working over a weekend when I'm ff which caused users not to connect which in turn cost me money as well affected my apps usefulness it wouldn't be helpful to be able to look back a day or two to see if that issue was due to Apple or due to some fault on my end? There's literally no reason you can see to look at any data that isn't in real time? 
    Go look for it, or maybe run your own perl script (or whatever) to check for it. Probably someone online has your anxieties and has produced this "useful" tool.
    If no one has done it, it probably isn't that interesting as you think.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,858member
    foggyhill said:
    Soli said:
    kruegdude said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    What would be the point of Apple showing past down times?  It’s not like you need to know that for anything except your own idle amusement. So why put the effort into maintaining a useless service?
    You're saying that if App Store app's back end service wasn't working over a weekend when I'm ff which caused users not to connect which in turn cost me money as well affected my apps usefulness it wouldn't be helpful to be able to look back a day or two to see if that issue was due to Apple or due to some fault on my end? There's literally no reason you can see to look at any data that isn't in real time? 
    Go look for it, or maybe run your own perl script (or whatever) to check for it. Probably someone online has your anxieties and has produced this "useful" tool.
    If no one has done it, it probably isn't that interesting as you think.
    1) It ha been looked for, as per the discussion.

    2) A PERL script? Really?

    3) So you're argument is if it doesn't exist it shouldn't exist or the even worse if Apple isn't doing it, it means it shouldn't be done. Man, that sounds like when you people made claims that Apple would never use OLED, to choose just one example, simply because they hadn't yet.

    4) If Google didn't offer a comprehensive system status page but Apple did I don't doubt for a second that you (and many others on this forum) wouldn't bend over backwards to proclaim that Apple was being transparent and Google was being sneaky. At one point I think most of you actually liked technology for its own sake and looked at it through an objective lens instead of this fanatical Apple one. When did this happen to you? Why is there a problem with removing a brand from your decision making in order to look at a situation without bias? These are just fucking companies! They owe you nothing outside the agreed upon product or service agreement.
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingamsingularity
  • Reply 20 of 24
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Soli said:
    foggyhill said:
    Soli said:
    kruegdude said:
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    My Echos kept saying they couldn't connect this morning which is exceedingly rare for me. The only other times have been when the ISP had a local outage. I can't recall any other issues either from my home setup or from Amazon.
    Not now, I have a headache...

    FWIW, Apple uses AWS for iCloud, etc. -- But the only issue they show is Maps Traffic:

    https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

    I'm not a fan of Apple's system status page. It's really only good for seeing what's going on at that very moment as there's no option to look at a timeline. I think they used to offer one with this page, but I think that was years ago.
    Apple has never let you look back further than 3 days AFAIK. I might assume, for lack of any other reason I can think of, to mask failure/uptime rates (for cloud reliability comparisons?). Some other services let you go back to look at service histories weeks if not months.

    EDIT: Apple doesn't show you even three days now? If so I couldn't see it. 
    What would be the point of Apple showing past down times?  It’s not like you need to know that for anything except your own idle amusement. So why put the effort into maintaining a useless service?
    You're saying that if App Store app's back end service wasn't working over a weekend when I'm ff which caused users not to connect which in turn cost me money as well affected my apps usefulness it wouldn't be helpful to be able to look back a day or two to see if that issue was due to Apple or due to some fault on my end? There's literally no reason you can see to look at any data that isn't in real time? 
    Go look for it, or maybe run your own perl script (or whatever) to check for it. Probably someone online has your anxieties and has produced this "useful" tool.
    If no one has done it, it probably isn't that interesting as you think.
    1) It ha been looked for, as per the discussion.

    2) A PERL script? Really?

    3) So you're argument is if it doesn't exist it shouldn't exist or the even worse if Apple isn't doing it, it means it shouldn't be done. Man, that sounds like when you people made claims that Apple would never use OLED, to choose just one example, simply because they hadn't yet.

    4) If Google didn't offer a comprehensive system status page but Apple did I don't doubt for a second that you (and many others on this forum) wouldn't bend over backwards to proclaim that Apple was being transparent and Google was being sneaky. At one point I think most of you actually liked technology for its own sake and looked at it through an objective lens instead of this fanatical Apple one. When did this happen to you? Why is there a problem with removing a brand from your decision making in order to look at a situation without bias? These are just fucking companies! They owe you nothing outside the agreed upon product or service agreement.
    No, my argument is that some things are only useful in your head, not in reality.
    And that information can actually be pulled easily if you actually care that much about it.
    If 99.99% of people don;t gives a shit about something they're not oblige to produce anything for the 0.01% who do.

    The whole thing about OLED is specious, OLED now is not the same thing as it was 5 years ago and knowing "uptime" is something that has existed since the damn of computing and the internet. The meaning and means of getting the info and publishing it hasn't changed much at all.

    That's why I pulled out Perl , cause it would routinely be used for those kind of systems tasks that far back.

    If you want to be cool and use Rust, Swift, Python, Node or Lua whatever works to produce the same thing if it ACTUALLY BOTHERS YOU THAT MUCH.



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