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Amazon Cloud Computing Platform Goes Down, Takes Major Social Websites With It

Amazon's elastic compute cloud (EC2) is a popular hosting platform for social websites because it provides a cheap, scaleable, generally reliable place for them to live online without having to purchase a floor full of their own servers. But a major EC2 outage today highlights the potential perils of outsourcing one's own hosting needs onto the cloud: When the cloud goes down, there's not all that much you can do.

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