January 5, 2011, 3:22 PM

RiteAid.com goes down for nearly 24 hours

The drugstore chain confirmed the outage, but did not comment on the cause.

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Drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. has been experiencing connectivity issues since 10 a.m. Eastern time yesterday, according to web performance management vendor AlertBot. For much of a 24-hour period consumers attempting to visit the site received messages that their browsers could not connect to the web site.

The site remained down until 6:30 p.m. when AlertBot says access to the site became intermittent, which continued until 9:30 a.m. today.

A Rite Aid spokesman confirmed yesterday’s outage but denied any issues today. She also declined to comment on what caused it.

“There are so many different things that it could be,” says Justin Noll, sales and marketing manager for AlertBot parent company Infogenius Inc. “The network could be down or the server could have failed.”

However, says Noll, the nearly 24 hours that the site was down is out of the ordinary. In fact, he says it is the longest outage AlertBot has observed in a number of years.

The problem could have been avoided if Rite Aid had developed an outage roadmap, he says. That means that if the site’s server goes down it would trigger another server to host the site. Or the retailer could have used multiple servers to balance traffic so that if one goes down it doesn’t have a pronounced effect.

“Most I.T. departments have a plan in place in case there is a major failure, but apparently Rite Aid doesn’t,” he says.

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