Amazon outage brings down Netflix

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Netflix is blaming the Christmas Eve failure of its streaming service on Amazon Web Services, which appears to have suffered problems with its data centers.

On one of the company's busiest days of the year, customers in the US, as well as some in Canada and south America, found themselves unable to stream movies from around 3:30 ET until late at night.

Amazon Prime customers, though, were able to watch movies to their hearts' content.

"We're aware that some members are experiencing issues streaming movies and TV shows. We’re working to resolve the problem," Netflix tweeted.

Amazon admitted the problem, saying it was caused by issues at its Northern Virginia data centers, but says full service has now been restored. While some users were still struggling to connect two days later, this may have been unconnected: Amazon's service status dashboard shows all services operating normally now.

AWS, Amazon's cloud platform, evolved from the infrastructure the ocmpany uses for its own operations, but now represents a major part of the company's business. Netflix was by no means the only client affected by the outage, although it's the most high-profile.

This isn't the only outage that AWS has suffered recently: last month, it was down for over 12 hours, thanks to a bug related to new hardware. Power outages caused by storms earlier in the summer also brought down a number of sites, including Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest.