If you are a Netflix subscriber, you probably noticed that the streaming video service had a number of holiday films and cartoons among its options for viewing. If your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans involved sitting down in front of the TV and streaming some of those holiday movies, odds are you were disappointed. Netflix had a significant outage on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that took the streaming service off-line.
The problem wasn't on Netflix's end; rather the problem had to do with Amazon Web Services Elastic Load Balancing service in the US-East data center. The problem with Amazon service led to Netflix and streaming service Heroku being off-line Christmas Eve and the outage continued into the next day. Interestingly, Amazon's own video streaming service Amazon Prime Instant Video was apparently unaffected in most locations.
The outage reportedly began at 1:50 PM Pacific Standard Time. There are some scattered reports of outages for Amazon's own video streaming services well. Netflix reported that streaming service was back up to normal streaming levels at 8:45 AM Pacific Standard Time on Christmas Day.
This isn't the first time that an Amazon Web Services-related outage has struck companies using the US-East data center. Apparently, that data center is often chosen because it's one of the first to get new features that Amazon rolls out. Interestingly that data center is Amazon's oldest and largest and it's one of the least expensive that Amazon offers making it very popular.