The Cloud Review: Netflix Outage, Backup and New Zealand

Earlier this year Netflix enthusiastically announced plans to migrate the bulk of its operations to Amazon Web Services, which it also uses to power its content streaming service.  But its subscribers probably don’t share this optimism, or at least not anymore, in light of the borderline-cataclysmic ‘Christmas Eve outage of 2012’, which left millions of people without convenient entertainment at the worst possible time.

The cause of this outage was traced back to Amazon’s Northern Virginia data center, which apparently encountered some very serious technical difficulties that couldn’t be fixed before Netflix implemented its own workaround. The downtime affected end users all throughout North America, as well as Salesforce, Amazon Prime and other services that were hosted in the North Virginia facility.

Here are some more details, courtesy of InformationWeek:

“Netflix reported that it was able to restore services to most of the affected consumers by late Christmas Eve. But that entailed a workaround that involved manually reassigning capacity to other Amazon data centers. Amazon reported that it took until the afternoon of Christmas Day to fix the problems at its Northern Virginia data center.”

A stealth startup called VictorOps is laboring to create a software solution that will help admins react much faster to technical difficulties.  The Boulder, Colorado-based team raised $1.58 million from its three founders and two VCs just a few days ago, although it did not seize the opportunity to share more details about its hush-hush project.

The final update we’ve brought you this week comes from New Zealand, the current refuge of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Mike Wheatley wrote up an interesting piece on the German entrepreneur’s involvement in local policies, and how the affair ties in with his shady background.