Netflix is down: AWS outage takes down service on some devices

272 Comments

Updated: Netflix (s NFLX) is inaccessible for users on some devices on Christmas Eve, thanks to an outage of Amazon’s 9s AMZN) AWS cloud infrastructure. There is no word from Amazon when the issue will be fixed. Netflix officially acknowledged the issue on Twitter:

However, there’s some good news for affected users: Netflix Cloud Architect Adrian Cockroft reported on Twitter that the service is only affected on some devices, while others are working fine. In other words: If Netflix isn’t streaming on the device of your choice, try accessing it via other means before you give up. Cockroft tweeted Monday afternoon:

First reports about a Netflix outage popped up online around 1 p.m. PT. Shortly thereafter, Amazon started reporting that some of its Elastic Load Balancers are down. The company’s last status report, issued at 4:15p.m. PT, reads:

“We continue to experience increased errors for Elastic Load Balancing API calls in the US-EAST-1 region and continue to work towards resolution.”

We will update this post as soon as we know more.

Update 1 (5p.m.): A Netflix spokesperson emailed us the following statement:

“We are experiencing a partial outage late this afternoon (Pacific Time) that affects a number of streaming devices. Our team is working hard to address the problems and get the service fully up and running again.”

There are some reports of users who are able to use Netflix with their PCs without any issue.

Update 2 (5:10p.m.): It’s worth noting that AWS East, which is at the heart of this outage, has had multiple serious outages over the last several months.

Also, wondering what a Elastic Load Balancer actually does, at least when it’s working? Amazon has a somewhat technical explainer on its website. (thanks Susan!)

Update 3 (5:20p.m.): Users on Twitter are reporting that the DramaFever streaming service is down as well, and the DramaFever.com website is currently inaccessible. It’s unclear whether this was caused by the same AWS outage.

Update 4 (6:10p.m.):  DramaFever has confirmed that it is affected by the same AWS issue as Netflix.

Update 5 (6:45p.m.): Amazon’s latest update on the situation, time-stamped 5:49p.m. PT, doesn’t sound very promising:

“We continue to work on resolving issues with the Elastic Load Balancing Service in the US-EAST-1 region. Traffic for some ELBs are currently experiencing significant levels of traffic loss.”

Update 6 (9:32p.m.): Roku has confirmed that its service is also affected by the outage, with Roku players complaining about Internet connectivity issues. A spokesperson sent me the following statement:

“Confirmed that the AWS outage is affecting services for some Roku users. Our technical folks are actively monitoring the situation.”

Meanwhile, Amazon is still having issues, and Netflix remains unavailable for a large number of users.

Update 7 (11:30p.m.): Amazon now says it is “in the process of recovering the service” and Netflix’s Adrian Cockroft is reporting on Twitter that things are looking up for users of the service:

Update 8 (12/25, 9:40a.m.): The outage is officially over. Here is what Netflix tweeted earlier this morning:

272 Comments

Marwan

Totally down on all my devices!!! Maybe they should switch from Amazon to Microsoft!!!!

jeffwrobel85

Netflix is down on my PC, Mac, ps3, iPhone, iPad, but works on my AppleTV. I’m in hawaii to make it even more obscure. Worth a shot if you have an AppleTV.

jeffwrobel85

Apple TV works in hawaii. Well let me rephrase Netflix is down on iPhone, pc, Mac, ps3, but is up on my Apple TV. Wise early Xmas present to myself I think lol

RJ

Down in Chicago. Time to find those Christmas DVDs. Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to All.

kris

WOW. Netflix is down, is lame, but whatever, I signed up for HULU’s 1 week free trail for my roku…its such a joke…Hulu has ads…for paid members…i mean how horrible is that?!? no good shows on it or movies…waste of time..

Lisa

my netflix is not working either. Does this mean we will get a refund for not being able to use it? I cant access it on my apple TV nor watch it instantly from my PC.

Aaron

RogerMonday, December 24 2012
It would be nice if Netflix actually said something

Agreed. Took me quite awhile just to find a thread of people talking about it. If it’s down then fine. At-least say so, instead of making people rack their brains over what’s wrong when it’s not even on their end. Non communicative, unconcientious pieces of…

Jim Bradshaw

Down on my LG BluRay and my Dell 1720 laptop. Pretty well covers it. Bypassed the D-Link router too. Gotta be kidding/lying.

EDee Bruns

Amazon is working on the East Coast, just switch over for the night – mostly the same stuff.

Cam

PS3 and TV don’t work, PC loads the viewing options but when I choose one it stops loading at 2%… Not sure which devices it’s supposed to be working on. I’d try my Xbox 360 but I kinda doubt that will work either.

Heather Whited

Really wish Netflix had something on their site earlier when I looked and before I reset my freaking Roku player. I started there with my troubleshooting, couldn’t find anything.

Damian Alexander

Oddly enough… my Amazon Prime connection is working fine! SABOTAGE!

Tag

LOL. Amazon runs a sight called tribe. It crashes more than its up, but the Amazon ads Always load.

rhuwyn

Amazons e-commerce and streaming services don’t run on their AWS platform. AWS is not resilient enough torun true resilient enterprise applications. Even amazon itself doesn’t run its mission critical applications in AWS so why should anyone else? I work for a real enterprise hosting company and AWS sure likes to draw customers aware with their cheap price arguing that there service can match ours but they are so far off its silly.

Dale Huhtala

Only affects some devices? Tried my LG TV, WD Live box, Android tablet, Windows 8 tablet, PS Vita, Windows 7 PC and iPhone – NONE of them work. What devices DOES it work on?

EDee Bruns

I feel your pain. The devices it is working on on the East Coast are intermittent. It worked on the Android for awhile, but isn’t now.

Gavin H.

Yep, I live on the East Coast and it was working on my laptop and iPad for a while, but it just stopped working a few minutes ago.

Diane

Here in CT, we have no connection on the iPad, pc or TV, yet for some reason it is working through the XBOX.

Dant2590

IT SUCKS. Tonight is all reruns on CBS comedies. I have time to watch something and Netflix is down AGAIN. Sure seem to be a lot of outages, especially after they’ve RAISED the price. And I don’t feel like driving 10 miles to get to my nearest blockbuster. I guess it’ll be down all evening. Can’t even get to the website for “tvhelp”

cindy davis

Netflix needs to put some sort of update on the Netflix screen to let us know we are not losing it. I did my connection over and over, 3 green lights all the way. Even reset my Roku. Wasted time for nothing. Strange part, I just returned to Netflix last nite. Why? Such a foolish mistake.

Jon Harvey

I wish the error that popped up made more sense, it says, your internet connection is down. More like Netflix is fried. My intenet connection to VUDU works fine. Engineers working on the issue for over 7 hours now, wish you fix it fast to get home to your families for Xmas.

Financialtailor

my heroku app is down as well, I had been racking my brain trying to figure this out.

MissD

Annoyed! When isn’t Netflix having issues?! I 2nd what the person above said… I’ve tried Netflix on 4 different devices with Netflix and NONE of them work. Good grief!

Bill Pi

ITS DOWN! you can try 100 devices and it will still be down! gezzzzzzzzzzzzz

Kent M. Miller

It’s only down for some devices. my Wii and iPhone don’t work, but I’m getting Netflix on my laptop just fine AND I’m on the east coast.

Roger

It would be nice if Netflix actually said something when I go to their website rather than having to do google searches. My Roku also decided that only possible reason Netflix is not responding is because my network is broken and forces me to do a useless diagnostic!

Tag

My TV app tells me to “check my connnection” as well. Its a flashback to the old days on Earthlink. Overloaded servers telling you its Your fault.

Karen Strickholm

Good point, they should have a notice to members posted. HELLO, where are the PR/marketing people who should be handling that task?

Karen Strickholm

Hey Amazon: Continuing errors with the “Elastic Load-Balancing API in the US-East 1 region….”. Now that’s a mouthful! How about translating that from geek-speak into English for us rubes?

Bill Pi

Sure
It means NO NETFLIX FOR YOU and if you’re in the eastern region you’re even more f ed
How was that?

Martha Goudey

Well, here we are all snuggled in at the son’s house, dog-sitting the granddog, had dinner, got the dessert, and sat down for a nice winter evening in front of the fire and NETFLIX. WTHeck. Wahhh.

ugh!!!

it also said it was only down on some device.. well guess what I have 5 diffrent ones and it does’t work on any of them so upset

Samf

i have tried everything i have: a Sony Tablet running Android 4.1, an Asus Laptop on Google Chrome, Maxthon, IE, Safari, and Firefox, an Amazon Kindle Fire, an Iphone 4, and an Ipod 3.
Nothing Works… =(

Hoping4miracle

SAme here …. So frustrating …. Hopefully we’ll get a Christmas miracle and it will all come back up.

Ron Amadeo

AGAIN? It seems like AWS goes down once every two months, and takes half the internet with it.

What is their uptime? 90%?

ipsuid

They have great uptime… and multiple geographic locations… when one location breaks the others typically are unaffected. Thus if companies like Netflix actually followed AWS best practices (which is to failover between locations) you would never notice an issue. Netflix being down is their issue, not Amazon’s.

tmanfl

Really… AWS best practices. Like AWS should have redunancy and failover built into it. It is the super cloud and it is crashing.. MAJOR FAIL

Bill Pi

Not sure what their business agreement is but Amazon could be responsible for the fail over serves as well.

Rhuwyn

regardless if Netflix could make there applications more geographically resilient or not AWS is still down and Amazon does have an SLA for just a specific location. I am a Cloud Architct for an AWS competitor and perpetual outages like this even would not fly with any of my clients. A single outage is one thing but this is rediculas. I would have been fired over an outage like this.

kvetcher

Cannot agree with this. The vast majority of users in cloud environments sign up for high availability, and it is the host’s capacity, both with DC’s and support, to assist in proper configuration ( i cannot imagine netflix being completely unmanaged) and address high traffic spikes. The issue is at the level of the Load Balancer, which is a technology that does not address failover across DC’s. There are other companies (Rackspace, etc) who appear far better at assessing future risk to clients like this and can more reasonably ensure high availability.

nope

the point of the ELB’s (Which are whats down) is to handle the failover. If the failover service is broken than you’re kind of screwed even if you do follow the best practices.

hrmmmm

For Netflix specifically is failover actually viable? They’re at an extreme end of the bandwidth spectrum for a service, it would not surprise me if that leads to headaches using sites other than the closest to the customer, even though distance is typically associated with latency rather than bandwidth.

Ren

Ummm…ipsuid…no. “This is the latest in a series of high profile Web outages related to Amazon Web Services. In October, issues at AWS affected Reddit, Pinterest, Airbnb, Foursquare, Minecraft and other popular Web sites, while back in May, outages at AWS data centers took down Pinterest, Instagram and Netflix” (via tech-crunch)

tmanfl

I really like how my last comment was deleted. Not sure why. Maybe because I said something about Amazon AWS not being up to the task because of lack of failover and redunancy of service.

Way to edit comments in the free speech USA.

Wowicannotbeliveit

Wow, that has to be the best customer service response ever….NOT. I hope you don’t work for AWS ;-)

William Beem

It must not be down for everyone, because I just spent the last couple of hours watching Capote on Netflix through my Apple TV.

Jimi

Well ain’t you special. I’m like the rest of us ready to cancel Netflix.

DarthYoda - Because I have a light and dark side

Let’s not cancel, let’s get a refund, and not a few cents. Class action anyone? If they had to give a months payment back to everyone, 1/12th of a years income for them, maybe they would be a little more attentive and proactive against these all too frequent outages.

anonGiga

Wouldn’t even consider cancelling Netflix over something like this.

Bob

Jimi, in the full spirit of the holidays, I say, may your stocking be full of coal and may you be utterly alone on this and every day so no one else in the world has to suffer your bile.

Coolio

So gla this was posted! I was wondering what was going on and it is so gratifying to punch in a simple google search and get a result.

Doug

come on netflix. always seems to be an outage when you want to watch something the most. lampoon Christmas with the family. whoever you are dependent on its time to switch to someone else.

He-Man of Motherfuckin' Eternia

Probably due to everyone watching the same movies at once.

DarthYoda

Personally, I think we should ban together with a class action suit. Money lost talks loudly.

Shaun

Agreed Doug i waited last year for them to put that movie on…oh wait they did a week after xmas.Assholes so i put it in Que so i could watch it tonight.We where having a lampoon family xmas just for laughs…lights,outfits,everything now alls we had left was to sit down drink some egg nog out of our antler cups,but nope they screwed the pooch on that one.

Wil

Problem isn’t Netflix, it’s Amazon, which seems to own an inordinate amount of the internet, every time Amazon has a problem, half the bloody internet, including Netflix, goes down. But blaming Netflix for this kind of outage is like blaming them when I can’t watch because of my *almost daily* comcast outages. Considering what I pay for cable tv t vs what I pay for Netflix, Netflix is still a better deal. So, I say, Yay Netflix. Merry happy holidays and all that.

swattz101

Sounds like multiple services effected, and due to Amazon, not Netflix. Though I thought Netflix has a way around problems like this.

Comments are closed.