FYI Netflix is down

Rodrick Brown rodrick.brown at
Tue Jul 3 15:36:44 UTC 2012

On Jul 3, 2012, at 10:58 AM, Ryan Malayter <malayter at> wrote:

> James Downs wrote:
>> For Netflix (and all other similar
>> services) downtime is money and money is downtime. There is a
>> quantifiable cost for customer acquisition and a quantifiable churn
>> during each minute of downtime. Mature organizations actually calculate
>> and track this. The trick is to ensure that you have balanced the cost
>> of greater redundancy vs the cost of churn/customer acquisition. If you
>> are spending too much on redundancy, it's as big of mistake as spending
>> too little.
> Actually, for Netflix, so long as downtime is infrequent or short
> enough that users don't cancel, it actually saves them money. They're
> not paying royalties for movies being streamed during downtime, but
> they're still collecting their $8/month. There is no meaningful SLA
> for the end user to my knowledge.
> I imagine the threshold for *any* user churn based on downtime is very
> high for Netflix. So long as they are "about as good as
> cable/sattelite TV" in terms of uptime Netflix will do fine. You would
> have to get into 98% uptime or lower before people would really start
> getting irritated enough to cancel. Of course multiple short outages
> would be more painful than a few longer ones from a customer's
> perspective.
> I imagine Netflix is mature enough to track this data as you suggest,
> and that's why they use AWS - downtime isn't a big deal for their
> business unless it gets really, really bad.

My thoughts exactly! 

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