Amazon Blames Accidental Deletion Of Data For Netflix Outage

By Johnny Wills email: | Jan 04, 2013 12:15 PM EST

Amazon has apologized for the disruption in its cloud-services, which hindered Netflix users from watching movies on Christmas day.

Netflix highlighted the Christmas Eve outage last week, blaming Amazon for the disruption. Amazon didn't mention Netflix in the apology, but averred that a developer accidentally deleted data from Elastic Load Balance Service (ELB). It took some time before Amazon figured this out, and when it finally did, initial recovery efforts failed, resulting in prolonged server downtime.

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"We want to apologize. We know how critical our services are to our customers' businesses, and we know this disruption came at an inopportune time for some of our customers. We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to drive further improvement in the ELB service," Amazon said in a long explanation posted on Monday, Dec. 31.

On Dec. 24 afternoon, Netflix users started reporting problems with the Watch Instantly service. According to Netflix, the partial outage affected only "some, but not all devices", but those affected "saw significant impact for a prolonged period of time." However, normal service was restored by Dec. 25 morning.

"We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to drive further improvements in the ELB service," Amazon continued.

Amazon provides cloud services to many popular Web sites, including Pinterest and Yelp. Amazon Web Services receive over 835,000 requests per second from thousands of customers in 190 countries. Netflix users located in the Eastern Region of the U.S. experienced the outage, where Amazon's data centers are located in northern Virginia. Previously, the region was also hit by storms causing Netflix to lose control over streaming services for about three hours on June 29.

Amazon said that it is committed to at least 99.95 percent uptime, but frequent disruption can attenuate customer's confidence in the platform, which offers computing power and storage services.

Although Netflix restored its services last week, it ran into new problems on Dec. 31. TechCrunch reported that "some users are reporting trouble with the DVD side of the website", while the streaming services are unaffected.

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