August 22, 2006, 12:00 AM

Amazon.com falls offline during mid-day on Monday

Amazon.com, the largest online retailer in terms of sales, was “totally inaccessible” for 36 minutes yesterday afternoon, from 2:07 p.m. to 2:43 p.m. Eastern time, web site monitoring company AlertSite reports.

Amazon.com, the largest online retailer in terms of sales, was “totally inaccessible” for 36 minutes yesterday afternoon, from 2:07 p.m. to 2:43 p.m. Eastern time, web site performance monitoring company AlertSite reports.

The site continued to experience problems later in the afternoon for a total down time of about one and a half hours, AlertSite adds.

The outage was detected in more 50 cities worldwide by web site performance monitoring c company Keynote Systems Inc., a spokesman for Keynote says.

An Amazon spokeswoman acknowledges that the site “was down for a brief period,” but declines to elaborate as to why. “Our systems are complex, and despite our best efforts, from time to time they may experience problems,” she says. “When that happens, as it did yesterday, we work to get the site back up and fully functional as quickly as possible.” Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

“The problem seemed to be a web server/application issue,” the Keynote spokesman says. “The physical server was online, but the application was not or had a significant back-end problem. Most users around the world would not have been able to access the site."

“This looks like an unplanned outage, where something in the technology environment broke or was misconfigured,” says Ken Goldskin, a vice president at AlertSite. Amazon.com hasn’t had an outage this long since June 2005, when it went down for about 45 consecutive minutes, he adds.

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