Amazon’s U.S. front end web site went down (and is now back up)

Amazon Package

Update: This story was updated through at 12:45 to reflect to new information and culmination of the outage.

Amazon.com, the front end of the Seattle-based retailing giant, went down on Monday afternoon for about 45 minutes, although the company’s cloud computing services stayed up and running. It’s unclear what was behind the company’s problems, although Google, another giant internet company has experienced a major, and rare, outage on Friday, just a few days before Amazon’s.

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During, the outage regional Amazon sites were running, as were sites of Amazon-owned companies including Zappos and Diapers.com. The incomplete nature of the outage and some basic testing led Matthew Prince, the CEO of CloudFlare to note that, “The network routes are up and running for amazon.com. This appears to be a problem somewhere in the application or internal network and just for Amazon.com.”

The outage did take down the Kindle store, and some people reported trouble accessing and logging into Amazon’s Web Services.

The AWS management console experienced some hiccups beginning at 12:14pm PT and customers had some trouble logging until 12:32pm PT, although that may have been partly due to panicked AWS customers trying to ensure their instances and services were still working.

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While Amazon’s web site outage likely resulted in a few lost sales, (and some freaked out resellers) its overall effect shouldn’t be too big. This is a far cry from an AWS outage in 2011 that took down the web sites of dozens of small and large companies for the better part of a day. And it certainly won’t be as large as Google’s outage when it comes to the internet as a whole. Google’s outage diminished global web traffic by roughly 40 percent.

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