Apple (AAPL) Resolves Massive Service Outage

Shows vulnerability of cloud-based services

Apple Inc. (AAPL) suffered a massive service outage that affected many applications, including the Apple App Store, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Maps, iCloud, iMessage, iCloud Keychain, iCloud Mail, Apple TV Plus, and Podcasts. Outages began to spike around noon Eastern Time on Monday, March 21, 2022, and were largely resolved by 3:45 p.m. on the same day. Apple's system status page indicated that there were 30 outages in total, including the temporary loss of its iOS device activation and enrollment systems.

Apple's corporate and retail internal systems were down temporarily as well, limiting remote work by employees and some retail operations. As a result, product repairs, swaps, and item pickups were disrupted. The incident provides yet another illustration of the vulnerability of cloud-based services.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple (AAPL) suffered a massive service outage on March 21, 2022.
  • The outage affected its online services and internal systems, including those supporting its retail stores.
  • Reports indicate that domain name system (DNS) problems were the cause.
  • Apple is heavily reliant on cloud services from Amazon and Google, which also had problems at the same time.
  • The incident highlights the vulnerability of cloud-based systems and services.

Disparate Impacts

The outage affected some apps and some people differently. For example, in some cases, an app such as the App Store would load but either would hang or would not let the user download an app. In other cases, the app would not load completely. Apple has yet to issue an official comment on what caused the outage.

Possible Cause

According to a report in Bloomberg, Apple employees had been told by the company that domain name system (DNS) problems caused the outages. DNS failures occur when a server fails to connect to an internet protocol (IP) address and are often caused by human errors.

Other Tech Giants Affected

Around the same time as the Apple outage, various other tech giants saw rising customer complaints, though not to the same degree as that experienced by Apple. Among these were: Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of Inc. (AMZN); the Google division of Alphabet Inc. (GOOG, GOOGL); and several wireless carriers.

Apple Relies on Amazon and Google

Meanwhile, Apple is heavily dependent on cloud services provided by AWS and Google. As a result, pending official confirmation, there is a possibility that all these service disruptions were interconnected.

Article Sources
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  1. The Verge. "Apple Has Resolved the Outage Affecting iMessage, Apple Music, the App Store, and Other Services."

  2. CNBC. "Apple Services Are Back Online After Outage."

  3. Data Center Knowledge. "Apple Recovers From Massive Outage."

  4. Bloomberg. "Apple Resolves Outage That Hobbled Apps and Internal Systems."

  5. Turning Cloud. "How Apple relies on Amazon for Cloud Services."

  6. SC Media. "Apple Encrypts Its iCloud Data on Google, AWS Clouds."

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