Updated: Amazon.com suffers outage

Amazon.com’s web site is down. A message left at Amazon’s PR hotline hasn’t yet been answered. The company’s stock price is also down this morning. It’s not clear why the outage is happening. Readers have noticed it since about 10:30 am Pacific time on Friday. The message that comes up is “http:/1.1 service unavailable.” (as of about 130 pm, the service was back online).

Amazon hasn’t had a big outage for a while. The costs of such outages can be enormous for e-commerce businesses. That’s why such companies have huge, redundant server architectures. That includes having backup data centers in multiple locations and countries. For a company this big, you don’t expect it to happen. But eBay suffers outages as well. In Amazon’s case, the company is leasing out a lot of its data center computing power to small companies. No word yet on whether the Amazon.com outage has affected those vendors too. But the Amazon web services site is also down now.

It’s no surprise that Amazon’s stock is down 3.8 percent, or $3.21, to $81.30 today. But everything fell today and it certainly seems like some day traders are jumping the gun on that. Cnet reported that some Amazon sites outside the U.S. appear to be working. Based on last quarter’s revenue of $4.13 billion, Cnet estimated that a global outage would cost Amazon more than $31,000 per minute.

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