Netflix suffers another outage; this time it's the DVD website

Amazon.com apologizes for its part in Christmas Eve breakdown
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Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) had to be happy to ring out the old year and ring in the new--especially after the way the old year ended. First the streaming service suffered a major malfunction on Christmas Eve; then its DVD website started acting up on New Year's Eve.

Reportedly, the website started experiencing technical difficulties for some users, a problem a Netflix spokesman told The Wall Street Journal was being addressed by the company's engineers.

On a brighter note to ring in the new year, Netflix's online video steaming service, which took a hit Christmas Eve thanks to problems with the Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) storage service, is "not impacted" by the latest problem.

Meanwhile, Amazon posted an apology of sorts for the first problem in an explanation of what happened and how it apparently affected more than just Netflix. As part of the explanation, Amazon also offered up a promise that this kind of thing wouldn't happen again.

The problem, the company said, started late on Christmas Eve and revolved around the Amazon Elastic Load Balancing Service (ELB). While the impact was restricted to "only affected applications using the ELB Service" and only a "fraction of the ELB load balancers," it had a "significant impact for a prolonged period of time," Amazon said in its statement.

The problem, Amazon said, was the result of human error during a "maintenance process." From there, according to the company, it was a chain reaction of bad events until service was finally restored sometime after 3 p.m. ET on Christmas day.

"We have made a number of changes to protect the ELB service from this sort of disruption in the future," Amazon said, before concluding with an apology.

"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," the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, lest it be thought the Grinch stole the entire holiday from everyone at Netflix, at least one member of the embattled streaming service will have a good memory of the season. CEO Reed Hastings learned his compensation will double in 2013 from $2 million to $4 million, including salary and stock options.

For more:
- see this Wall Street Journal story on the DVD website outage
- read this statement/apology from Amazon.com about the Christmas outage
- check out this story on Reed Hastings' salary bonanza

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Netflix blames Amazon for Christmas Eve outage
Hastings: Netflix 'can make it in the long term