Today Amazon suffered a major failure on 1 of their online services. The S3 services in the US-East1 (North Virginia) became unresponsive. The outage lasted several hours and impacted some quite large names.
So why am I raising this here? The region impacted is in fact the region primarily used for hosting Alexa Skills (the only other option is Ireland) there is potential that some skills were affected by the issue. Up until recently the North Virginia location was the only possible data center set that an Alexa skill could be hosted however this has now expanded ito Ireland.
Although the outage lasted a few hours the uptime of the Amazon services are impeccable. It is rare that we hear of any issues with the service but of course due to the size and the volume of customers the service has when there is downtime it is big news.
1 thing that this does highlight is the need to ensure that you have proper contingency plans in the event the service fails (Which Amazon themselves strive to tell users).
Hopefully now the service is back up we can see a bit more stability. If you were affected by the outage ensure that you look into contingencies to ensure that the issue does not arise again.