Netflix faced problems relating to DVD website

The problem on the DVD website has been resolved, Netflix said

Netflix, which faced an interruption of its video streaming service on Christmas Eve, had problems again on Monday related to its DVD website.

"Reports of an @Netflix outage today are wrong: Streaming is fine. DVD delivery is fine," said company spokesman Joris Evers in a Twitter message. The DVD site was however down for some, and was being fixed, he said Monday.

The dvd.netflix.com website, for adding DVDs to a member's queue, experienced some technical issues on Monday and was not accessible at all times to all members, Netflix said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. That has been fixed, it added. Netflix only offers DVDs in the US.

The company's services have been the focus of attention after its streaming service was hit on Christmas Eve following problems with Amazon's online computing platform, Amazon Web Services. Netflix said in a blog post that streaming was affected on Christmas Eve by problems in the AWS Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) service that routes network traffic to the Netflix services supporting streaming.

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances, promising higher fault tolerance for applications.

The problems at AWS caused a partial Netflix streaming outage that started at around 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Dec. 24 and grew in scope later that afternoon. Netflix said. The outage primarily affected playback on TV connected devices in the US, Canada and Latin America. Service in the UK, Ireland and Nordic countries was not impacted, it added.

The Netflix website remained up throughout the incident, supporting sign up of new customers and streaming to Macs and PCs, although at times with higher latency and a likelihood of needing to retry, Netflix said.

Amazon has apologized for the outage, though it did not refer to Netflix by name. While the service disruption only affected applications using the ELB service, and only a fraction of the ELB load balancers were affected, the impacted load balancers saw significant impact for a prolonged period of time, it said.

"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," the AWS team wrote. Amazon said it had made a number of changes to protect the ELB service from a similar disruption in the future, including modifying the access controls on its production ELB state data to prevent inadvertent modification without specific Change Management (CM) approval.

Netflix did not provide details on Tuesday on what caused the problem on the DVD website.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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