Netflix and Nintendo suffer holiday-rush outages

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (for outages)

While many people were curled up, enjoying the holiday seasons, some engineers at Nintendo and Netflix likely had somewhat of a more stressful holiday season. Both experienced some performance issues leading to outages of their services over the holiday break.

Reports first surfaced on Christmas Day that Nintendo's online gaming shop was inaccessible to some users. This prevented some users from being able to buy new games, register games or buy new features within games.

The next day Nintendo confirmed the outage through its Twitter account, noting that it was working to resolve the issue. The company voluntarily shut down its eShop services between 4 PM and 4 AM ET on Dec. 27, and then again on Dec. 29, which eventually fixed the problem. By Dec. 29, the issue was fully resolved. On its Facebook page, Nintendo issued an explanation:

"The initial outage was primarily caused by a one-time surge in demand over the recent holidays, compounded by the following:

1) An influx of new Nintendo Network accounts being created and accessing the Nintendo eShop.

2) Existing Nintendo 3DS account information being moved to new Nintendo Network accounts."

Netflix confirmed via its Twitter  page that it too had service disruption on December 26, which impacted streaming services to "all devices." This one lasted much shorter than the Nintendo issue though. Later that day the issued had been resolved, Netflix said. Last year on  Christmas Day 2012 Netflix suffered an outage as well. Apparently the holidays are a busy time for these companies.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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