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Amazon cloud outage downs Netflix, Quora

The brief network connectivity issues strike Amazon's northern Virginia site, derailing many sites that depend on the widely used service.

Amazon Web Services' cloud-computing infrastructure experienced a brief network outage this evening that knocked offline popular sites such as Netflix, Quora, Reddit, and Foursquare.

The network connectivity issues struck Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) at Amazon's northern Virginia site, which handles AWS operations for the U.S. East Coast at 7:39 p.m. PDT and were resolved about 25 minutes later, according to the Amazon Web Services Health Dashboard.

AWS is a flagship example of one facet of cloud computing, a flexible collection of online computing services that can ramp up and down according to varying needs, with customers getting a flexible infrastructure and paying only for what they consume.

At the same time, though, when a widely used service goes down, many suffer. In April, the cloud storage service experienced a two-day outage that brought many Web site operations to a halt.

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other recent service outages:
• April 21: Amazon cloud outage derails Reddit, Quora
• May 13: Google revives Blogger after outage
• June 20: Netflix outage not caused by hackers
• July 14: Google App Engine suffers availability problems
• July 14: Spotify promo downs Klout. Was it avoidable?
• July 20: Netflix outage prevents streaming to some devices
• August 3: Yahoo Mail suffers outage; users react