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8/19/2013
05:55 PM
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Amazon.com Suffers Hour-Long Retail Site Outage

Cloud services remained in operation as Amazon.com online retail site disappeared Monday afternoon.

Amazon.com's website was out of commission for about an hour Monday, according to Compuware's cloud service monitoring arm, Outage Analyzer.

The Amazon Web Services cloud service subsidiary continued operations, but several parties reported they were not able to access Amazon's online retail operation between 12:32 p.m. Pacific time and 1:46 p.m. Pacific, according to Outage Analyzer. Other services reported it reappearing earlier. The Outage Analyzer map shows all of North America and Europe were affected.

An attempt to access the homepage at 12:38 p.m. resulted in this standard message, "Oops! We're very sorry but we're having trouble doing what you just asked us to do. Please give us another chance -- click the Back button on your browser and try your request again. Or start from the beginning on our homepage."

The Seeking Alpha financial news service reported at 12:21 p.m. Pacific that it had obtained this message: "Our website is currently unavailable while we make some improvements to our service."

At 12:58 p.m., James Staten, lead cloud analyst at Forrester Research, tweeted that one AWS service had been affected: its end-user service dashboard. "So much for the svc dashboard being accurate. RT @_homegamer: @Staten7 can't manage #AWS from the console - outage. 12:58 p.m. Pacific," read Staten's tweet.

[ AWS catches a lot of heat. See Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For? ]

The Amazon incident Monday follows a loss of service by Google applications over a 4-minute period Friday afternoon Pacific time. The Google Apps Service Dashboard indicated a uniform interruption of service across all its applications, including Gmail, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Google Sites, Google Groups and Google Docs. Google hasn't yet ventured an explanation for the applications outage. Google search continued to perform as usual.

The nature of the message obtained by Seeking Alpha suggested that a mishap had occurred during a maintenance or site improvement operation, but there was no verification of that by Amazon. An attempt to elicit feedback from company spokesmen produced no result by late Monday afternoon.

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TimBee
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TimBee,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/20/2013 | 3:15:43 PM
re: Amazon.com Suffers Hour-Long Retail Site Outage
Talk about incompetent. Now tell me, why would I entrust my private or business data to the cloud?
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/20/2013 | 8:24:09 PM
re: Amazon.com Suffers Hour-Long Retail Site Outage
So it can be shared following the inevitable breach?
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Author
8/20/2013 | 6:02:21 PM
re: Amazon.com Suffers Hour-Long Retail Site Outage
Actually, Amazon Web Services continued to function normally during this outage. One monitoring service noted a slight increase in the latency of services, such S3 storage and EC2 compute, but none were interrupted or not functioning. The problem was in Amazon retail online operations software, I suspect, not the cloud infrastructure. And the increased latency for AWS services occurred only in Northern Virginia, not other Amazon cloud sites.
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