Amazon Apologizes About Outage, But Not to Netflix

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Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) had a lot to say about the service outage that occurred on Christmas Eve, which took down its chief competitor in streaming video -- Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ). In a lengthy statement with more than 1,100 words, Amazon attempts to explain what happened last week.

"The service disruption began at 12:24 PM PST on December 24th when a portion of the ELB state data was logically deleted," the Amazon Web Services team wrote. "This data is used and maintained by the ELB control plane to manage the configuration of the ELB load balancers in the region (for example tracking all the backend hosts to which traffic should be routed by each load balancer).

"The data was deleted by a maintenance process that was inadvertently run against the production ELB state data. This process was run by one of a very small number of developers who have access to this production environment. Unfortunately, the developer did not realize the mistake at the time. After this data was deleted, the ELB control plane began experiencing high latency and error rates for API calls to manage ELB load balancers."

This is an interesting read for anyone who is interested in learning more about the inner workings of Amazon's cloud services. It is also a notable read for anyone who was expecting Amazon to openly apologize to one of its most important clients -- Netflix.

With more than 30 million streaming subscribers worldwide, Netflix is a massive firm. It is also the chief competitor to the on-demand video component of Amazon Prime. Amazon has tried to use its streaming video service to convince shoppers to sign up for the service, knowing that those who do will be more likely to shop at If consumers subscribe to Netflix instead, however, they may be less interested in the content that Amazon has to offer.

One could argue that Amazon was wise to avoid mentioning Netflix or any other client by name. However, in going out of its way to explain how the outage happened, it seems odd that Netflix did not even acknowledge the company that suffered the most.

"Last, but certainly not least, we want to apologize," Amazon wrote at the end of its statement. "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. We will do everything we can to learn from this event and use it to drive further improvement in the ELB service."

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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