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Amazon offline for half an hour

Online retailer's US site down for almost 40 mins, no reason given

Amazon's service was down for around 40 minutes, according to Apica.
Amazon's service was down for around 40 minutes, according to Apica.

Online retail giant Amazon suffered an outage on its US site for over half an hour yesterday.

Amazon.com and the Amazon Web Services cloud were unavailable during that time, although the company has yet to comment on the disruption.

Amazon is the latest high profile web business to suffer recent problems. On Friday, Google was down for about two minutes, effecting the main search page, Gmail, YouTube and Drive online storage. The Google outage caused as much as a  40% drop worldwide internet traffic according to analytics company GoSquared.

Microsoft also suffered disruption to its Outlook.com mail service for three days, while the New York Times website went down for two hours on Wednesday.

Web load testing and performance monitoring company Apica speculated that the Amazon outage was probably a total outage at the network or data centre level, rather than a smaller server or application error. Amazon was disrupted from 14.50 to 15.30. The initial 20 minutes were totally unresponsive, after that basic server 503 error appeared.

Sven Hammar, CEO of Apica, commented: "Amazon.com IS etrade, and such a long crash is bad for brand and sales. There are a number of possible reasons for why sites crash, and I do not want to speculate on the reasons for this particular crash. But for a high-profile company like amazon.com, it must be avoided at all cost. Preparation is key. Generic website failures and performance problems can be minimised greatly by simply, conducting on-going testing and monitoring of the site and its applications, and having a contingency plan that includes system backup. If Amazon even can go down , so can your site."