Netflix Blames Amazon For Xmas Eve Outage
The online film streaming service Netflix is blaming Amazon after millions of people were unable to access its service on Christmas Eve.
Netflix says a problem at Amazon Web Services (AWS), which rents out computing power in data centres in the internet "cloud", left more than 27 million of its members unable to get the films they wanted.
The Netflix issue began in California on Monday afternoon and lasted late into the night, according to the company.
No problems were reported with viewing offerings at Amazon's rival online film service.
In a message on Twitter, Netflix referred to the problem as "terrible timing". It noted that users in Europe were not affected.
"We are happy that people opening gifts of Netflix or Netflix capable devices on Christmas morning could watch TV shows or movies and apologise for any inconvenience caused Christmas Eve," the company said in a separate statement.
"We are investigating the cause and will do what we can to prevent reoccurrence."
Amazon told the AFP news agency that the Netflix outage was due to "issues with the Elastic Load Balancing service" that affected some AWS customers in the United States.
Reports in the US suggest the problem stretched from Brazil to Canada.
AWS began recovering late on Christmas Eve and was back in proper working order on Christmas Day, according to Amazon.
The outage exposed a risk inherent in the trend towards depending on "cloud" servers for services ranging from web-based email to digital news publications and business tasks which have traditionally been the responsibility of on-site IT departments.