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Amazon suffers service outages

18 February 2015 - 13:51 by Mike Price

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In the digital age there is always the chance that an issue with connectivity can make it impossible for users to do their shopping online. But, sometimes, the problems lie at the other end of the chain, with the servers that host the e-commerce sites consumers know and love.

This week it was online retail giant, Amazon, that hit the headlines after many customers across Europe reported that the site was being rendered inaccessible by sporadic service outages. And as well as impacting on Amazon’s e-commerce site, the problems also affected those trying to stream video from the firm’s subscription-based service.

People in the UK were plagued with issues when shopping online with Amazon over the weekend and a spokesperson for the company confirmed that there were two hours of unplanned outages.

In a statement the company commented on the incredibly complicated nature of the systems that underpin its e-commerce site and video service, while stating that it had worked to quickly remedy the issues and reduce the chances of disruption occurring in the future.

Amazon not only offers safe shopping online, but also operates a cloud computing service, which means that other companies can pay to harness the power of its data centres to host websites, apps, data and much more.

This is why outages that impact Amazon will also cause issues for other organisations in many cases. And perhaps there are those who worry about the extent to which the world is now reliant on outsourced IT infrastructures.

For consumers, the minor annoyances of not being able to buy items for a couple of hours over the weekend will probably be seen as a small price to pay for the 24/7 service that sites like Amazon otherwise allow customers to access year round.