AWS embarrassed after Christmas Eve outage

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AWS embarrassed after Christmas Eve outage

Netflix became a victim Christmas Eve of an Amazon Web Services (AWS) service outage, rendering thousands of customers unable to watch a movie during the holiday family time and causing some to question the reliability of AWS services.

Netflix made the best of the situation, tweeting to customers on Dec. 25 that service had been restored.

"Special thanks to our awesome members for being patient. We're back to normal streaming levels. We hope everyone has a great holiday," Netflix wrote in its tweet.

[Related: The 10 Biggest Cloud Outages Of 2012]

AWS showcased its close partnership with Netflix at its first annual conference in Las Vegas in November, presenting Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, during the opening keynote.

Despite the good spirit displayed by Netflix over the outage, AWS will have to address reliability issues following its third significant service interruption this year.

On December 24, the AWS service dashboard showed interruptions in its services for Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which provides hosted computing capacity; Elastic Beanstalk, which manages provisioning and load balancing; and CloudWatch, which monitors services.

An AWS spokesperson issued a short statement following the outage, saying a more detailed explanation will be forthcoming.

"AWS experienced issues with the Elastic Load Balancing service that impacted some customers in the US-EAST region," the statement said. "Impacted customers started to recover the evening of December 24 and the service was fully recovered and functioning correctly on December 25. We have been heads down ensuring customers are operating smoothly and will be publishing a full summary of the event in the coming days."

The spotlight is already on AWS as businesses watch to see if they should entrust their mission-critical IT resources to hosted cloud environments.

Following the previous outage, Jillian E. Mirandi, an analyst with Technology Business Research (TBR), wrote that companies that rely on AWS to host a significant amount of their business may move to other services if these outages continue.

"TBR believes that the market spotlight is on AWS when it comes to outages as it is the biggest IaaS vendor and supports well-known customers," she added.

The Christmas Eve outage can only heighten that concern.

This article originally appeared at

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