Netflix Goes Down For 11 hours, Wall Street Pushes Its Stock to All-Time High

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Netflix was unavailable yesterday for 11 hours due to a glitch in its scheduled weekly maintenance system, and it will cause users to wait an extra day or two for their rentals.
The outage started yesterday at 7AM Pacific Time, when engineers noted that the weekly maintenance shutdown scheduled in the middle of the night had instead gone off in the early morning. By the time the site was up again at 6PM, Netflix had gained a few disgruntled customers. The outage caused its 52 distribution centers to go down as well (presumably, they didn’t have access to the customer logs), so DVDs scheduled to go out Monday won’t go out until today. As a result, the ranting began.
Many of the Netflix users, clearly experiencing movie-queuing withdrawal, used the outage as an opportunity to talk about the overall lack of open information on the site.
For example, many feel that Netflix isn’t upfront with them about broken DVD’s and waiting times for movies that are heavily in demand (I second this problem: I’ve been waiting for Season One of The Wire for 10 weeks now). When representatives weren’t answering questions immediately yesterday, it caused local newscasts to lead their segments with vague statements like ‘Netflix is experiencing problems due to their technology. We don’t know anything else.’
Basically, people want to know that something is being done to correct the issue of a service they pay for, and would like to know about maintenance sessions in advance (though that would not have mattered yesterday).
So far, there has been no detailed explanation about why the outage happened and why it took so long to come back up. Regularly scheduled maintenance of top websites like MySpace, Facebook, and Netflix usually don’t take more than a few hours.

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