Netflix, Pinterest, and Instagram experienced a prolonged outage as a set of severe storms swept across Eatern US, killing several people and injuring many more. Tens of thousand of households were left without power, as streaming media providers struggled to fix the damage in the shortest possible time. .
All three providers announced via Twitter that they are working on fixing the technical difficulties they've encountered, with Netflix and Pinterest having already restored service by Saturday afternoon.
The services were taken down after a thunderstorm hit the East Coast Friday night, causing a massive power failure at Amazon datacenters, in North Virginia. Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud makes up a viable collection of online computing services, providing an adjustable infrastructure that caters to specific client needs.
Fortunately, Netflix and Pinterest fixed the problem by Saturday afternoon, when all of their services were once again operational, while Instagram announced that their services might not be fully restored for an additional few days.
Soon after the outage, the three companies began receiving a lot of feedback from clients, primarily via social networks. Most of their clients urged the streaming media providers to restore service as soon as possible, prompting several journalists to comment on the apparent panic induced by the temporary lack of "frivolous entertainment".
An Amazon spokesperson told Associated Press that the outage occurred when a thunderstorm disrupted several of their ongoing operations, but that their maintenance teams have managed to fix the issue for most of Amazon's clients.
This is not the first time an Amazon cloud outage affects Netflix. In 2011, a 25 minute long connectivity problem knocked out servers for several companies, including Netflix, Quora, FourSquare and Reddit. Unfortunately, when a storm or a technical malfunction takes down Amazon datacenters, multiple companies are inadvertently affected.
In April of 2011, yet another 2 day long outage affected Amazon's East Coast servers, taking down Reddit and Quora. Amazon's spokespeople refrained from commenting on these malfunctions at the time. However, such issues have sparked a number of debates in the industry on whether or not outsourcing operations can pose serious concerns for companies that rely primarily on online services.