Going down: AWS may be struggling and yes, Slack and Github are down [Updated]

Haptic Touch: The Ultimate Guide
Haptic Touch: The Ultimate Guide (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

What you need to know

  • Slack's down!
  • Github appears to be down.
  • Don't panic!

Update, February 23 (05:00 ET): Things are looking much better for Slack and AWS didn't actually suffer an outage according to its monitoring.

It isn't just you — Slack and Github are having problems and it could be related to a potential — but not confirmed — Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage.

As remote workers come to terms with not having Slack beeping away at them it seems that Github, a service used by app developers as a place to hold code and more, is also suffering. Downdetector points to both seeing a sharp increase in reported issues of late, while AWS isn't doing too great, either.

Aws Github Slack Outage

Aws Github Slack Outage (Image credit: Downdetector)

The issues reported by people aren't consistent at the time of writing, however. In terms of Github, some report that the service is completely unavailable for them while others say that only Webhooks aren't working. The main homepage was functional when last checked, however.

At the time of writing the AWS service status page did not highlight any issues. However, given the fact that a large portion of the internet and its services rely on AWS it's highly possible that an issue on Amazon's side could impact downstream apps and services — including those run by Slack and Github.

Slack has become one of the go-to tools in a world where people are working remotely more than ever and its loss could prove problematic for many businesses and workers. Slack's own service status page did note that "Slack is not working for some users" including issues with logging in, messaging, and more.

Update, February 23 (05:00 ET) — Slack is back online and it appears there was no widespread AWS outage after all.

After hours of intermittent connectivity, Slack is now fully back online. Time to get back to work, everyone!

In terms of AWS, it appears that the cloud storage provider didn't suffer from a widespread outage despite Downdetector reports to the contrary. An AWS spokesperson told me "there was no broad service issue with AWS. Our services were operating normally. The only resource on the internet that provides accurate data on the availability of our services is the AWS Service Health Dashboard."

Downdetector is a crowd-sourced indicator of whether or not a service or website is suffering from issues at any given moment, whether that's degraded performance or a full outage. Downdetector only raises the alarm if, according to the site, "the number of problem reports is significantly higher than the typical volume for that time of day."

AWS lit up on Downdetector's reports around the time Slack and Github began to do the same, hence the suspicion that something wider was afoot. However, an AWS spokesperson also confirms that Github is not an AWS customer — its issue couldn't have been caused by AWS. Slack hasn't mentioned AWS in its own public-facing comments on its own issues.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.