Amazon back after rare site crash

February 1, 2013: 3:57 PM ET
amazon site down
According to data from Apica, Amazon's homepage went down at 2:32 p.m. and was back within 50 minutes.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Amazon.com's homepage is back after a rare outage that left the site inaccessible for about an hour on Thursday afternoon.

Around 2:30 p.m. ET, users began complaining that they weren't able to access Amazon.com's homepage. Some were able to get to other parts of Amazon's site, and the mobile app appeared to be unscathed. Amazon-owned properties like Zappos and IMDB were also unaffected.

Amazon (AMZN) released a short statement confirming that its "gateway page" was down for "some customers for approximately 49 minutes."

According to data from Web performance monitoring firm Apica, Amazon's homepage went down at 2:32 p.m. and was back by 3:21.

The outage was short, but it's extremely rare for Amazon.com to crash. Amazon depends on heavy e-commerce traffic, especially around the holidays, so it has famously massive server capacity to handle traffic spikes. Even a few minutes of downtime can cost the company millions.

Its powerful "elastic" infrastructure, called EC2, is designed to minimize downtime as much as possible. Amazon also runs a sideline business, called Amazon Web Services, hosting other websites. Amazon Web Services remained unaffected by Thursday's outage, according to Amazon's status dashboard.

It was a day of Internet glitches. Twitter also suffered intermittent outages for about three hours on Thursday.


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