(Huffington Post) – For a few hours over the weekend, thousands of vintage-looking photos went unshared, online movies went unstreamed, and digital scrapbooks went unpinned.
An electrical storm that swept across the East Coast late Friday knocked out power at a Virginia data center run by Amazon Web Services. The outage disrupted numerous web companies that rely on Amazon’s virtual data servers, including Instagram, Netflix and Pinterest.
Amazon said a “power outage caused storage failures” for customers who rent space on Amazon’s servers through its cloud service. It said it had restored service to the remainder of its customers on Saturday.
“While no amount of downtime is acceptable, in the six years of running these services our customers have been quite pleased with our operational performance,” Amazon spokeswoman Tera Randle said in a statement.
Analysts said the outage highlighted the tradeoffs of cloud computing, an increasingly popular method of outsourcing computing power and storage to remote servers over the web. A growing number of companies and government agencies are taking advantage of cloud computing largely because it is cheaper — they only pay for the computing power they need. It also allows them to quickly respond to spikes in traffic by expanding their server capacity.
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