Report shows why Amazon suffered technical issues on Prime Day

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

CNBC reports that it obtained internal documents showing the issues faced by Amazon engineers on Prime Day. Shortly after the event launched at noon PT Monday, a surge of traffic started causing errors that affected product searches and shopping carts and led to instances of crashes.

The company was forced to launch a stripped-down version of the Amazon homepage and block international traffic as it tried to deal with the issues. It also had to add servers manually to keep up with traffic demand, which suggests something went wrong with its auto-scaling capabilities. An hour after the start of Prime Day, one of the Amazon server’s updates read: "Currently out of capacity for scaling. Looking at scavenging hardware."

A breakdown in Sable, an internally developed piece of technology used for computational and storage services across Amazon's businesses, caused problems across Prime, authentication and video playback. There were even issues with Alexa, Prime Now and Twitch, and some warehouses were temporarily unable to scan or pack products.

At one point, the crisis saw 300 people taking part in an emergency conference call, but things returned to normal as more servers were added. As noted by GeekWire, with the CNBC report failing to mention anything about Amazon Web Services, it appears that configuration errors on Amazon's end were behind the limited server capacity.

Amazon's CEO of worldwide retail, Jeff Wilke, said in an internal email that his team was “disappointed” about the issues and the company was making sure they don’t happen again.

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petert

TS Evangelist
Yeah man, amazon is this tiny startup with cloud resources rented elsewhere ... their initial contract stipulation would only give them this bandwidth and amount of data to be trafficked on their website, so this is why this happened.

On a more serious note. ARE YOU FECKING KIDDING ME? The AWS granddaddy, server load distribution and shite ... did they just not been able to provide for themselves? Did they just cut corners to save a few bucks on one of their greatest initiatives lately? Stupid.
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Yeah man, amazon is this tiny startup with cloud resources rented elsewhere ... their initial contract stipulation would only give them this bandwidth and amount of data to be trafficked on their website, so this is why this happened.

On a more serious note. ARE YOU FECKING KIDDING ME? The AWS granddaddy, server load distribution and shite ... did they just not been able to provide for themselves? Did they just cut corners to save a few bucks on one of their greatest initiatives lately? Stupid.
I'm guessing either you don't work it IT, or if you have, it hasn't been for very long.

New circumstances (like the biggest prime day ever) cause new problems. Amazon was probably losing thousands of dollars a second while their servers weren't working right. I doubt they cut any corners.

Next week we may get a story about bots scavenging for prices that were doing millions more requests per second than had been planned for.