Tech Failure Brings Netflix Down

By Baselinemag Print this article Print

The outage that plagued Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix nicked the company’s record of instant access to rental data and quick-delivery movies.

Netflix has made its name and reputation on making sure that its DVD movies get into customers hands quickly. However, an outage that plagued the Los Gatos, Calif.-based online movie rental service from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. pacific time on Monday, has put a blip in the company’s record of instant access to rental data and quick-delivery movies.

The outage brought down the company’s Web site and also impacted its distribution centers.
“It was an issue our engineers dealt with feverishly,” said spokesman Steve Swasey, declining to point to a specific cause of the problems or to characterize the outage other than to say it was “unanticipated” and “unfortunate.”  “Yesterday was an extreme anomaly and today is a new day,” he added. 

In its new day, Netflix has managed to not only restore service and get back to business as usual but also to ship out all of the DVDs that would normally have gone out during the outage, Swasey added. Although unwilling to quantify the breadth of the problem, the company did say that on a typical day the company ships 1.8 million DVDs.

“Some days are bigger than others and most folks watch movies on the weekend so Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be busier,” said Swasey.

Netflix serves 7.5 million subscribers with a library of 90,000 DVD titles plus over 7,000 full-length movies and television episodes that are immediately available to members from their PCs.

The ten year old company, which differentiates itself on its technologies and delivery systems, has a record that is relatively unmarred by technical glitches. “It’s an excellent record and one that we are striving to maintain,” said Swasey.

In the other only other notable instance of technical outage occurred last July when the web site was unavailable for several hours due to unexplained technical problems. 

This article was originally published on 2008-03-25
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.