Netflix’s blackout on Christmas Eve, which we reported earlier, is an illustration of the challenges of the cloud, with Amazon.com’s cloud computing service blamed for the problems, reports The New York Times.
Amazon, which provides computing power and storage for many Web businesses, traced the problem to "elastic load balancing," which spreads heavy traffic across many servers to help avoid overload, the story says. The company provided few details about the problem, the piece adds.
Some customers also complained that Amazon’s own streaming service, Amazon Prime, wasn’t working, according to the report.
"As more everyday devices, appliances and even automobiles rely on services connected to the Internet, consumers expect those services to be available at all times," the story points out. "Yet all sorts of disruptions — harsh weather conditions or an apparent overload — can knock a service out for hours."
Netflix has previously said it has several redundancies built into its cloud-based system, and a spokesman declined to detail why the service went down despite the design. The spokesman said the company is investigating and will do what it can to prevent such a disruption from happening again, according to the piece.