Amazon.com sites suffer 25 minute outage, cause unclear

Amazon.com sites suffer 25 minute outage, cause unclear

Summary: The retail giant's website suffered an outage mid-afternoon on the U.S. east coast for an unspecified, unknown reason. The company's cloud infrastructure was mostly unaffected, however.

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TOPICS: Amazon
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(Screenshot: ZDNet)

Amazon.com, the main retail page of the Seattle, Wash.-based company, suffered an outage that left millions of users unable to access the site.

The retail giant's main U.S. site went offline at approximately 3 p.m. ET on Monday. The cause of the outage remains unclear, but Amazon Web Services (AWS), including EC2, remained up and working on the most part unaffected, according to its status page.

However, after we first published this post, at 3:14 p.m. ET, the AWS Management Console was experiencing elevated error rates across all regions of the world, including North America and Europe. There was also a flagged issue with a North Virginia data center that was quickly resolved.

Affected sites were restored about 25 minutes later, as was the AWS Management Console, though it was still experiencing "elevated error rates" during its recovery. Amazon said it experienced "an increased error rate for CreateTags and DeleteTags APIs in the US-EAST-1 region." 

After the first few minutes of the outage, browsers attempting to access the sites would continually load. Placement text was soon added to say "some improvements" were being made. Shortly after, the text changed to say Amazon was "having trouble."

Regional sites, such as Amazon.co.uk, appeared unaffected by the U.S. website's outage. ZDNet confirmed Amazon-owned Audible.com is down, but Goodreads.com is not. Services such as Netflix, which run on AWS, were working throughout the retail site's outage, while others, such as the Amazon Cloud Player, were not.


Amazon receives approximately 77 million people visiting from the U.S. per day, and is one of the top ten websites in the world in terms of traffic. It's not clear how much revenue Amazon may lose as a result of the outage. One report estimates it to be in the region of more than $1,100 in net sales per second.

Google's five minute outage last week is said to have cost the search giant more than $545,000.

We've put in questions to Amazon, but did not hear back at the time of writing.

Topic: Amazon

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9 comments
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  • A bit longer

    I shop a LOT (it's my job!) and my coworker first discovered the issue at Amazon at 2:48 pm ET, so it might have been a longer outage.
    dealnews-Lindsay
    • Amazon FC

      The time it went down was about 2:47 and lasted till about 3:30-3-45 in total though I had heard other parts had started to come back up earlier.
      killa132004
  • A bit longer

    I shop a LOT (it's my job!) and my coworker first discovered the issue at Amazon at 2:48 pm ET, so it might have been a longer outage.
    dealnews-Lindsay
  • Lol

    Remember when a 25 min outage of your favorite website was not a full blown news worth event, but rather a weekly or even daily occurrence?
    whistler5
  • This is getting fishy

    First Outlook.com, then Google and now Amazon. Are the NSA plugs being pulled ?
    Alan Smithie
    • Not how it works

      That's not how it works. Please only post conspiracy theories that are actually possible.
      VicVicVic
      • Tut tut

        Never ruin a good conspiracy theory with the truth.
        Alan Smithie
  • Amazon outages a relatively regular event

    The major outages at Amazon are regular event than we think. Few months back i did little bit research about cloud outages at Amazon, the findings may surprise you http://www.slideshare.net/rahultyagi50999/amazon-cloud-major-outages-analysis
    byrahul@...
  • Yup.

    I was going to buy 10 super-high priced laptops but since the site was down, I went elsewhere. :-)
    Gisabun