Amazon Cloud Outage Takes Down Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest

An outage of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud has taken down Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram, and other services.

Amazon Inc. is doing its best to fix "power issues" at its Elastic Compute Cloud data center in North Virginia following a severe storm. Photo: Lindsey/Flickr

A number of sites and services, such as Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest, have gone down this evening, because of “power issues” at Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud data center in North Virginia.

Some websites need Amazon’s cloud services to power their services. Some quite violent storms in Virginia are apparently causing the problems, reports Digital Trends.

It takes a lengthy period for Instagram’s homepage to load, though users are – at the time of writing – only being met with a message acknowledging the problems.

“An electrical storm in Virginia has affected most of our servers. As we speak, our team of engineers are working hard to restore service,” it reads.

Following Instagram’s example, many of the affected companies has taken to their Twitter accounts to communicate with users and subscribers.

“We’re sorry for the outage and working to get your Friday streaming back to normal as quickly as possible. Thank you for bearing with us,” Netflix tweeted at 10.15pm PT.

At 1:15 a.m. ET, Pinterest.com posted a message: “We’ll be back soon.” On its Twitter account at about 1:45 a.m. ET, it said, “We’re back! Our team is continuing to work on some remaining issues that may impact performance. Thanks for your patience and happy pinning!”

Amazon’s Cloud services status page contained plenty of power-related error messages. Amazon’s ElastiCache, for example, explained that starting at 8:43 p.m., the service was “affected by a power event.”

According to MSN News, at 9:25 p.m., this message was posted: “We can confirm that a large number of cache clusters are impaired. We are actively working on recovering them.”

Netflix users took to Twitter to air their disbelief at the service outage. “Netflix isn’t working on possibly the most emotional night of my life. It’s official … this is NOT real life,” said a Twitter user.

“Everything good is down,” complained another. “I was watching my favorite show & you guys screwed up on a cliffhanger. Disappointed,” amar chugg wrote.

It’s not the first time Amazon being hit by a number of major outages in the last 18 months, the most recent occurred just two weeks ago.

On June 14, the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform experienced a serious outage in the same Virginia data center. The damage resulted in disappearing of many popular websites and less popular from the Internet for several hours.

In August 2011 one more outage came a week after a lightning bolt in Ireland knocked out a local Amazon data center. So, nature was to blame for the resulting explosion that caused a power outage, claims a Digital Trends report.

However, an Amazon cloud crash wasn’t all that surprising. The past spring, an outage of epic proportions struck Amazon’s database, downing sites and even losing customer data. Reddit was one of the affected sites, and is now a repeat victim.

At the time Amazon cited a technical error was to blame. A network traffic shift was “executed incorrectly,” routing traffic to a lower-capacity Elastic Block Store network. The server disruption resulted in site lag and connection issues, the company explained.

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