Netflix Back Online After Christmas Amazon Outage

By Erin Harrison December 26, 2012

Christmas comes but once a year, and for Netflix subscribers across the Americas that were knocked offline on Dec. 24, their service was restored by Christmas morning, according to media reports.

The outage has been attributed to problems with Amazon’s hosting service. Amazon has suffered high-profile outages this year, this being at least the third such episode.

The Netflix outage struck around 3:30 p.m. ET on Monday, and the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it prevented video streaming on a number of devices, such as Roku players, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Netflix, which has 25.1 million streaming subscribers, said that customers affected by the outage are located across the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The cause was an outage at an Amazon Web Services data center in Northern Virginia, the Journal said.

Amazon offers an online video service, Prime Instant Videos, to members of its free-shipping program, which competes with Netflix’s video service. Although the two compete, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said at a recent AWS conference that 95 percent of the company’s storage and computation needs are handled by Amazon.

The decision to move its internal applications and corporate IT services to Amazon was based on the company’s strategy of focusing IT operations on providing services to the business, and not managing hardware, Mike Kail, vice president of IT operations at Netflix, TechZone360 reported in September.

In addition to Amazon, Netflix is also reportedly working with SaaS vendors such as Workday, storage provider Box and Sumo Logic, as well as launching its own Amazon instances of its internal IT applications.

In related news, Amazon recently announced the availability of its Amazon Instant Video application, which lets users watch thousands of titles at no additional cost with an Amazon Prime membership.

The Amazon Prime Instant Video app is downloadable for free, but only customers who have signed up for the $79-a-year prime membership will be able to stream material in the repository. Customers will also get free two-day shipping with free access to instant video.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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