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AWS hit by six-hour connectivity outage in Japan

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Amazon Web Services was hit with a six-hour outage in Japan today which crippled online trading, communications firms and transport companies, among others.

The cause of the problem was a network failure at the AWS AP-Northeast-1 region (data centre) in Tokyo.

Specifically, the AWS Direct Connect cloud networking service had trouble connecting customers as a result of multiple core network device problems. With AWS Direct Connect firms can create a private connection between their sites and AWS.

Airline ANA saw flights delayed after the outage hit ticketing and check-in systems and online brokerages SBI Securities and Rakuten Securities reported delays in price data feeds and other glitches.

In addition, retail bank Mizuho said its internet services were disrupted and mobile operator NTT Docomo said some services were hit.

In response to the problem, Japan's chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said: “The Financial Services Agency will look into it to understand what happened and is asking affected companies to prioritise the needs of their customers.”

AWS said of the problem: “Between 3:30pm and 9:42pm PDT we experienced elevated packet loss for customers connecting to AWS services within AP-Northeast-1 Region through their Direct Connect connections.

“This was caused by the loss of several core networking devices that are used to connect Direct Connect network traffic to all Availability Zones in the AP-Northeast-1 Region.”