INTERNET RETAILER Amazon went offline for a brief period yesterday, causing people to wonder briefly where they might buy games or CDs or whatever else they might fancy.
Amazon apparently was down for about 30 minutes last night, but that was long enough for people to start noticing. Visitors were greeted with various messages.
"We're very sorry, but we're having trouble doing what you just asked us to do," said one. "Please give us another chance - click the Back button on your browser and try your request again."
Amazon hasn't said much about what happened, but a message on its dashboard console mentioned a problem of some sort with web services.
"We are currently experiencing elevated error rates for the AWS Management Console," it said. "We are currently experiencing elevated error rates affecting customers logging into the Console. Customers who have already logged into the Console are not affected."
Amazon's main website was down for at least half an hour, we tried it in the evening and could not access it, and visitors were greeted with unavailable or error messages.
According to the dashboard the problems affected the AWS Management Console and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in Northern Virginia. This is still tagged as having had a "performance issue", but it is described as "resolved".
When Google dropped offline over the weekend for five minutes, internet traffic reportedly fell by 40 percent. According to a report at Forbes, Amazon's time in the wilderness could have cost it as much as $66,240 per minute. µ