Amazon's Site Experiences Lengthy Problems on Tuesday

Cloud computing poster child Amazon.com suffered a significant breakdown on Tuesday that lasted for hours and affected core e-commerce functionality on its main site.

As acknowledged on its official Amazon Seller Community discussion forum, buyers couldn't place orders while inventory management features malfunctioned for merchants.

Amazon declared the problem solved about 8 hours after first acknowledging it, making the disruption a major one for one of the world's largest and most popular e-commerce sites, for which even minor outages translate into significant lost revenue opportunities.

The incident is also significant because in recent years Amazon.com has become one of the most enthusiastic proponents of cloud computing, urging companies to rely on its systems to handle their IT infrastructure functions and tasks.

Through its Amazon Web Services division, the company provides a broad variety of hosted computing services for companies that decide it's cheaper, more convenient and more reliable to entrust them to Amazon than to do them in-house.

Those hosted IT infrastructure services were apparently unaffected by the problems that hit Amazon.com's site on Tuesday.

Amazon didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment on what went wrong and what impact it had on its sales and those of merchants that use its platform.

This type of problem is more common among e-stores during big gift-giving days and seasons, like Mothers' Day and Christmas, but Tuesday was just a regular day in that respect.

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