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Amazon outage: US and Canada service fail takes down 82 domains

20 Aug 2013

Amazon's US and Canadian sites were knocked offline for nearly half an hour last night, leaving millions of web users unable to access their accounts.

The outage was first flagged by the Reddit community. Visitors attempting to access the US and Candian sites were greeted with "Oops! We're very sorry", alongside a "500 Service Unavailable Error" report. The reason for the outage remains unknown, and at the time of publishing Amazon had not responded to V3's request for comment.

The incident is the second major disruption suffered by Amazon in the past 12 months. The company admitted suffering an outage that temporarily took down some of its Web Services platforms in October 2012. The outage last year had a knock-on effect, taking down scores of popular websites, including Reddit and Instagram, with it.

Compuware director of Application Performance Management, Michael Allen, said the firm's web analytics show the outage overnight had a similar impact.

"When you consider that the site makes thousands of pounds a second, this outage will clearly have had an impact on Amazon's revenues. However, it's not just Amazon that will have been affected. If you look at the Outage Analyzer service, at least 82 other domains were impacted; although the actual number is likely to be much higher," he said.

Amazon is one of many big-name tech companies to suffer unexplained service outages over the last week. Google suffered a similar outage where key services including Search, Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Talk went dark for five minutes. Despite the short duration of the outage, internet analytics firm GoSquared reported detecting a massive 40 percent dip in global web traffic.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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