The web site outage for Netflix has continued, with the site down for more than nine hours and hints that the issue may be a database problem that could also delay DVD deliveries. "Our site is temporarily down," says an announcement on the home page. "We're working hard to get the site up as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience." Comments at CrunchGear indicate the outage is affecting many areas of the U.S. Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey told Hacking Netflix that the outtage is "unanticipated, and our engineers are working feverishly on it." An initial reference in the site message that "distribution centers are still sending and receiving DVDs" was later commented out in the HTML code, suggesting that problems extend beyond site performance.
UPDATE: The Netflix site is back up as of 10 pm EST.
Ironically, the outage occurred as stock analysts were upgrading shares of Netflix (NFLX) based on strong web site traffic. Piper Jaffray analyst Michael J. Olson said traffic to the Netflix site rose 18 percent in the last three months, compared with a drop of 6 percent at rival Blockbuster Inc.'s Total Access DVD rental site.
Netflix began offering streaming downloads of its movie catalog in January 2007. In June the company announced that it would be using peering services at Equinix (EQIX) data centers to help scale its streaming service. A Netcraft dig shows the Netflix web site is hosted at the company's Red Envelope Entertainment subsidiary in Los Gatos, Calif.