When Amazon's cloud storage fails, lots of people get wet

Grazed from ABCNews. Author: Mae Anderson.

Usually people don't notice the "cloud" — unless, that is, it turns into a massive storm. Which was the case Tuesday when Amazon's huge cloud-computing service suffered a major outage. Amazon Web Services, by far the world's largest provider of internet-based computing services, suffered an unspecified breakdown in its eastern U.S. region starting about midday Tuesday.

The result: unprecedented and widespread performance problems for thousands of websites and apps. While few services went down completely, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of companies had trouble with features ranging from file sharing to webfeeds to loading any type of data from Amazon's "simple storage service," known as S3...

Amazon services began returning around 4 p.m. EST, and an hour later the company noted on its service site that S3 was fully recovered and "operating normally."...

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