Last month, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings separately took the stage at the Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas and touted the significance of Netflix as a proud customer of Amazon Web Services.
Both suggested that the alliance symbolized the importance of how two companies — which compete head-to-head in streaming of movies and TV shows — can work together in delivering a cloud-based service.
“We may compete on Prime Instant Video, but we bust our butts every day for Netflix on the AWS side,” Bezos said. Hastings earlier touted Netflix as a symbol that it is “safe to be on AWS.”
So, when Netflix sputtered on Christmas Eve as a result of yet another Amazon Web Services outage at the company’s Northern Virginia data center, we had this simple question: Why did Amazon instant video, which also runs on the back of AWS, keep going?
It’s unclear to us what caused Netflix to sputter, while Amazon’s video service kept humming. In a series of reports on its health dashboard, AWS engineers noted that the outage was tied to errors in Amazon’s Elastic Load Balancing API calls.
A GeekWire reader pointed out the irony of watching a video on Prime Instant Video at the same time that the outage was occurring at Netflix. GigaOm also noted that Prime Instant Video appeared to be working, with Barb Darrow writing that outages of these kinds “can only help AWS rivals in the OpenStack community.”
Netflix, at least as of last month, didn’t appear to be going anywhere. Hastings indicated that he wants the streaming video service to become the biggest business in the world that relies 100 percent on AWS.
With the latest outages, will Hastings ever change his tune? The Netflix boss did just step down from the board of Microsoft, so not sure he’ll be heading over to Windows Azure anytime soon. But these outages do hurt Netflix.
As another GeekWire reader noted this week:
“Still out. Stupid. Seriously thinking of dropping NetFlix over this. Don’t care who their vendor is: they provide the service, they bill me. If they can’t deliver then I’ll drop ’em.”