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Amazon outage whacked Netflix US customers on Christmas Eve

Clouds descend

Netflix is pointing the finger at Amazon’s cloud for the terribly-timed outage that left millions of US customers unable to access the service on Christmas Eve.

Amazon’s ‘Elastic Load Balancing’ snapped, affecting a number of Amazon Web Services customers in the USA – with Netflix among them and, by extension, more than 20 million Netflix customers.

Amazon’s status announcement stated: “We are investigating increased error rates for Elastic Load Balancing API calls in the US-EAST-1 region. This issue does not affect traffic on running load balancers, but the API may report that instances are out of service for some calls”.

Apparently, Amazon doesn’t use Elastic Load Balancing for its Amazon Prime movie streaming, since no outages were reported by Prime customers.

Netflix’s nightmare before Christmas began at 3.30pm, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ says other AWS customers hit by the outage included software company Heroku and the social media app Scope.

On its Facebook page, Netflix stated: “We're sorry for the Christmas Eve outage and we're aware that many of you are having trouble streaming. Our teams are working hard along with Amazon Web Services to address the issue, and we hope to be back up as quickly as possible.” ®

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