A widespread Amazon Web Services outage on Friday prompted a more-quiet-than-usual Alexa as Amazon's personal assistant technology, which is housed on AWS servers, appears to have succumbed to the regional outage.
Users began reporting problems with Amazon's Alexa and Echo speakers on Friday monring, US eastern time, according to website Down Detector. By Friday afternoon, Alexa and Echo outages were being reported throughout the US with the East Coast and California appearing to take the biggest hits.
Amazon, for its part, acknowledged a networking error stemming from its multiple Virginia-based data centres. The company, however, did not comment or respond to CRN USA's request for comment on the Alexa outage.
While Amazon does not have a status update page dedicated to its consumer products, business customers also rely on Amazon's Alexa technology. In November, Amazon unveiled Alexa for Business, a service designed to simplify common business tasks, such as setting up reminders, inventory management, and managing agendas and calendars.
Alexa for Business is available through select AWS solution providers.
Some reports have suggested that the Alexa outage was caused by an AWS service outage impacting the voice recognition and natural language processing servers that power Alexa.
Users also reported issues or downtime Friday with other third-party applications that live on AWS servers such as team collaboration application Slack.
Users are reporting that Alexa running on Echo speakers, as well as third-party devices, is giving replies such as: "I am not sure what went wrong" or "Sorry something went wrong" or a total loss of connection with no response whatsoever.
The AWS outage comes just after onetime AWS stalwart Dropbox revealed in its S-1 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it saved US$74.6 million in operating costs over two years by moving from public cloud storage to its own lower-cost, custom-built infrastructure.
HPE was the driving force behind the Dropbox move two years ago to a hybrid cloud model with an "open architecture approach and a custom server solution" with HPE ProLiant and Cloudline service provider systems -- all financed by HPE Financial Services.
STEVEN BURKE contributed to this story.